We’ve all heard about how important recycling is, but do any of us know why? “It’s good for the environment” is a blanket answer, but it doesn’t give you a concrete answer to why everyone should be recycling. Most people would say that we recycle to keep non-biodegradable goods out of the oceans and landfills, which is true, but it is only one part of the equation. In most cases, recycling requires much less energy than it does to create a new product out of raw material, which is why recycling every item you can is vital.
What Can Be Recycled?
1. Plastic Bottles & Containers
Recycling has come a long way, so most municipalities can recycle almost every plastic, but you should still check with your local recycler and ensure they take all plastics. Each bottle will have a number on it that corresponds with the type of recyclable plastic it is. Remember to rinse your plastics to the best of your ability before recycling them.
2. Food & Beverage Cans
Cans are one of the best products to recycle because they are almost 100% reusable, and it takes a lot less energy to recycle them than it does to make a new one. Just like plastics, try to rinse them well before recycling.
Recycling paper prevents deforestation and gives our trees time to grow back to the levels they once were.
4. Cardboard & Paperboard
These should both be recycled for the same reason we recycle paper. Cardboard should be broken down and flattened, and all tape and stickers should be removed whenever possible.
5. Glass Bottles & Containers
Glass is another item that can be nearly 100% recycled, reducing the amount of waste and energy used in creating new products. Just like other items that may contain food, rinse the glass well before recycling.
6. Other Items
There may be some items in your pantry that you aren’t quite sure are recyclable or not. When all else fails, check the items or packaging for the recycling icon.
What Cannot Be Recycled?
1. Plastic Bags
Local recyclers can’t recycle plastic bags, but many stores take plastic bags for reuse or recycling.
2. Cups with Plastic or Wax Coating
Unfortunately, there is no way to reuse or recycle these items; consider using reusable cups instead to reduce your waste.
3. Polystyrene Foam & Plastic
These containers have long been considered the villain of environmental conservation because they can’t be recycled, and they don’t break down. Many companies have switched to recyclable plastics for their carry-out items for this reason, but some still stick with foam because it is more cost-effective.
4. Medical Waste
Medical waste can pose a safety hazard for recycling workers, so it should never go anywhere other than a safe medical waste receptacle.
Chemicals and similar items like paints, batteries, etc., can all pose a danger to both workers and the environment, so they should never be disposed of in the recycling or even your regular trash bin. Instead, look for places in your community that specialize in disposing of these items and ask about their drop-off days.
6. Dirty Diapers
Not only are dirty diapers not recyclable they will ruin the entire bin making everything else unable to be recycled. Keep disposable diapers in the trash, or switch to reusable cloth diapers if you want a more eco-friendly option.
When You Do Your Part, We Do Ours
One of the unsung benefits of recycling is that it creates jobs in your community. Infinite Disposal is proud to offer biweekly recycling pick-up and a large 96-gallon bin for all your recycled products. We look forward to continuing to serve the community and preserve the environment by offering these services. When you recycle, we recycle, keeping items out of our landfills and keeping out waterways cleaner.