Recycling Questions Answered!

Last month, we took a tour of our local recycling center. We asked the questions that people commented for us; here are the answers!


Why can’t straws be recycled if they’re plastic? Is there a certain thing we can do or a place to take straws to be able to recycle them? 

Straws are too lightweight to make it through the recycling sorting process. If your local recycling center takes the type of plastic that the straw is, try putting the straws into a larger container of the same plastic to make it through the sorting process. 


Do I have to clean everything I put in the recycling container? 

No, it gets washed in the process of getting recycled. However, if you store your recycling in or around your house until its trash day, you may want to clean it anyways to prevent bugs and rodents. 


If I’m unsure if an item goes, should I just chance it and put it in the recycling, or will that cause more harm than good? 

We suggest that “when it doubt, throw it out.” When the landfill doesn’t have the resources or time to hand separate everything that comes in, there is a chance that if you recycle something nonrecyclable, it contaminates the entire pile. This means that more than likely, the whole pile will just get sent to the landfill. However, you can always look at your local city’s landfill website for information on what can be recycled. 


Why are some things recyclable and some not?

Whether or not an object is recyclable depends on the material it is made of. Some materials cannot withstand being melted down and reused over and over again. 


How do we figure out if electronic devices are recyclable? 

Typically, a lot of the casing around electronics are recyclable because they are plastic or metal. For the actual electronic device, check your local recycling center or look around town to see if you can find an electronic recycling store. 


Why don’t we separate our recyclables? (ie glass, paper, plastic) 

Depending on where you live, the recycling plant sorts it for us. This process started because it was easier for trucks and local citizens to have one truck pick up all recycling at one time.


How do I know what my local recycling options are?

Look on your city’s website for their waste management department 


What should I never put in my recycling bin(s)?

Some examples of NOT recyclable items are chemicals, batteries, greasy cardboard (like pizza boxes), light bulbs, and styrofoam. Remember, “when in doubt, throw it out” or to check with your local waste management department!


Thank you to the Round Rock Recycling Center for giving us a tour of the site and answering our questions!