Recycle Correctly in 4 Easy Steps

Remember how 90% of our plastic gets trashed instead of recycled? Here are some reminders to help decrease that number, and other ways to recycle more efficiently.

First, check with your city on their specific recycling rules and capabilities. Not all plastic is created equally, and those numbers inside the recycle signs matter.

Something that doesn’t change across city limits: rinse or clean out items you wish to recycle. Soda residue and dried food hinder plastic’s ability to be recycled. Take the time to rinse, clean, and dry the item before recycling it.

Yes, dry the item. Moisture inhibits recycling, especially when it comes to paper or cardboard. Water changes the makeup of products. Cardboard can dry, but it won’t be the same when it is dried, and it won’t be able to be recycled. Don’t put wet items in the recycling bin with your cardboard items.

Each city also has their own rules about what cannot be recycled. These are some of those things:
• Wet Cardboard
• Garden hoses
• Christmas lights
• Styrofoam products
• Wood scraps
• Medical waste (syringes, test strips, etc.)
• Clothing

Reminder: if you have clothing you don’t need, find a place to donate it. You can also keep it on hand to use as scraps for patches as you mend other clothing items, or cleaning rags around the house! If the clothing is so tattered that you don’t want to wear it, ask yourself if someone else would want it in that condition. If the answer is no, then throw the item in the trash. Then, remember this whole thought process before you buy a new clothing item.

The American recycling system is not perfect, but you can still do your part. We encourage everyone to be more conscious as we make our purchases, and as we discard them.