Friendly Recycling Reminders

February 4th, 2013 BY Marina Hanes | 4 Comments

Reducing, reusing and recycling seem like three easy tasks. However, when it comes to recycling, there are many rules and procedures that are important to follow so that the material is processed correctly. While you might know which plastics you can and can’t recycle, you might not be familiar with other procedures such as whether you should wash out the bottles and if facial tissues can be recycled. In an effort to increase your recycling power, below are answers to some confusing recycling situations.

Washable Recyclables

Before you recycle your plastic bottles and other items, it’s important to give them a thorough rinse before plunging them into the recycling bin. The reasons why you should wash them out are to remove potential contaminants and prevent your bin from smelling and attracting animals. The last thing you want is a raccoon to run off with a perfectly recyclable bottle.

Facial Tissue Issue

Unfortunately, facial tissue can’t be recycled. For one, the tissue is too weak to be reconstructed into usable paper, and after use, the tissue becomes contaminated with oils. The solution is to restrict the number of tissues you use a day and also invest in biodegradable ones.

Bottle Cap Drama

Ever have a bottle cap and not a complete bottle to recycle? Well, you can just recycle the bottle caps as long as the bottle or juice box is labeled as such.

Bottle or Can?
If you have a hankering for soda, it’s best to buy the cans. Many cans are already produced from 50% or more recycled aluminum. Plus, in as little as 60 days an old aluminum can be recycled and back on the market.

Recycling Goals

How much of your trash can you really recycle? Well, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about ¾ of the typical household trash can be recycled or composted. So if you’re recycling about half of your trash, you’re well on your way to being a recycling machine!

Educating yourself on what can and can’t be recycled is the only way to reduce the amount of trash going to landfills. If you haven’t setup a compost bin in your backyard, that’s another opportunity to decrease your household trash.

  1. Runka

    good post … there are sometimes when we dont know what can br recycled and what cannot … but now i know…. thanks Marina…

    • Responses to Runka
      May 6

      Thanks, I’m glad you found this post helpful! Recycling does require effort on our part, but it’s definitely a much needed step to take if you want to reduce your household waste.

  2. Sherri McCarthy, ACC

    Thanks for this post, Marina. I think we can all use more information about recycling and how we can make it a daily habit for our families. By themselves, bottle caps may fall through the sorting screens used in recycling facilities, so it’s best to make sure they’re attached to the bottles – then they can be recycled. As far as washing goes, most municipal recycling facilities do not require washing but if you happen to live in an area where the raccoons are the size of small cars, washing may be a good idea! And of course plastic soda bottles are fully recyclable. For more recycling tips and news about what we’re doing to encourage recycling in California, check out our blog:

    • Responses to Sherri McCarthy, ACC
      May 10

      Thanks for your input Sherri! I read your blog and think it’s great that you’re putting recycling bins in parks…definitely convenient for hikers, bikers, walkers, etc.

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