Recycling at Home

Just weeks ago we gave 10 solutions to turning your home into an eco-friendly environment. Although these solutions are all valuable, the most important and easiest solution is obvious- reduce, reuse, recycle. Recycling is a small commitment that can go a long way. Rubicon Global says that 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled. Most homeowners who are easily deterred from using a recycling bin are hesitant because they are unsure of what can be recycled and what is better off in the trash. Take a look at the materials that should be put into the recycling bin to help leave our planet better off than we found it.


Recyclables

In their purest form, all of these materials have qualities that make theme easily recyclable. Take a look at the top items in your home that can avoid the landfills and go straight into the recycling bin from now on.

Paper

Newspapers, cardboard, card stock, magazines, mail


Plastic

Water bottles, product bottles, milk jugs, clean fruit cups


Glass

Vases, bottles, jars, jugs


Metal

Aluminum cans, bottle caps, hairspray cans, tin cans, aluminum foil, silverware


Non-recyclables

The rule of thumb when it comes to recycling is that if you’re unsure, don’t put it in the bin. It is more work to take out items that aren’t recyclable from the bin than it is to properly dispose of these items in a regular trashcan. One wrong item can result in the whole bin of recyclable material being thrown in the trash and sent to the landfills. If this is your biggest fear about recycling, take a look and what you should pitch in the trashcan instead.

Dirty Items

Any recyclable materials from above that you would consider “dirty” should be thrown into the trashcan. All of the plastic bottles, metal cans and cardboard boxes listed above still have the ability to taint a batch of recycling when they’re not properly cleaned. While a cardboard pizza box can be disposed of, the glue, leftover pizza slices and grease ruin the recyclable quality of the item. Make sure your items check all the clean boxes before hitting the bin.

Broken or Distorted items

A common misconception is that any paper or glass is easily recyclable no matter what form it is in. Shredded paper and broken glass lose many of their good qualities when compared to whole pieces of paper and entire glass jugs. While these aren’t as easily recycled as their whole counterparts, they can still be thrown into the bin as long as they aren’t in too small of shreds.

Multiple Part Items

Materials that should be recycled typically come with a symbol on them to indicate how you should dispose of them. However, it’s important to pay close attention to the part of the object this symbol is on. A coffee cup with a recyclable cardboard sleeve should not be thrown out as one item unless the symbol is also on the cup itself. In this instance, you must consider how items might be in multiple parts and whether those parts can both be thrown in the recycling bin or if one should hit the trash.


Making the decision to recycle is one way to contribute to the planet’s wellness, but knowing how to recycle properly is key to being successful in this endeavor. You are now a recycling aficionado and ready to dispose of waster properly!