What Exactly Should I Recycle?

when do I need to recycle?

By now, it is a well-known fact that recycling has many great benefits to both individuals and the planet we inhabit. We have all heard the astounding figures about the massive quantities of refuse that we deposit into our landfills daily. In fact, in just one day, the average American throws away nearly five pounds of trash! The most effective way to reduce this alarming number is to recycle every item that we can. In addition to lowering the number of items that are placed in our already overflowing landfills, doing so also reduces our overall energy costs, helps keep the cost of goods at a more affordable price point, and significantly reduces the number of harmful greenhouse gases that are released into our precious atmosphere. With recycling being of such paramount importance, many of us struggle discerning which items can and cannot be recycled. In an effort to take the guesswork out of this task, your local roll-off company has created a helpful guide that will assist you in recognizing recyclable materials versus those that should be designated for waste removal.

When To Recycle

An excellent way to ensure that you are recycling efficiently is to consult with your local waste removal service or the department of public works for your area of residency. The experts will be happy to advise you as to which items are recyclable and which should be placed in the refuse. If you do not live in an area that offers curbside recycling pickup, you will need to locate your nearest recycling center, and most likely sort your items there. If this is the case, you may want to consider utilizing separate containers at home to save you time at the drop-off location. Below is a list of the most common recyclable items, as well as some helpful tips. A great rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if you are unable to recycle it, RE-USE it!

- Paper and Cardboard Items: You may recycle newspaper print, office paper, junk mail, magazines, brown bags, and regular or corrugated cardboard.

- Aluminum, Steel, and Tin: Cans, foil, and aluminum baking pans may be recycled. Always make sure they are clean and free of residue.

- Glass: Glass of any color is usually recyclable. Just take notice of this at the recycling center if you do not have curbside pickup, as the receptacles may be separated by color. NEVER place broken glass in a recycling container, as this poses a danger to those collecting it.

- Plastic Containers: Plastic containers are always labeled with a number, and typically #1 through #7 items are accepted for recycling. As with aluminum and glass, always make certain that all plastic containers are clean prior to recycling.

- Cardboard Cartons: Milk and juice cartons are most often coated in wax. However, they may be rinsed out and placed with other cardboard items.

- Asphalt Shingles: These are typically used as a roofing material and can be recycled into asphalt pavement for highways and streets.

- Carpet: Due to containing many complex fibers, carpets are virtually impossible to break down in landfills. However, almost types of carpet can be recycled. It depends on where you look, so be sure to ask us for recommendations.

- Construction Waste: Though there usually is not a whole lot of construction waste, certain kinds of wood, brick, and carpet can actually be recycled. It is important to note that you'll need to find the right facility to do that.

when should I recycle?

When To Toss

While recycling is undoubtedly of the utmost benefit to our communities and the environment, some materials are not recyclable. Placing these objects in recycling containers may actually cause more harm to the environment than good. Therefore it is imperative to understand which goods should be considered refuse. Fortunately, many of these common items are now available in different recyclable materials, or even better, as reusable products. 

- Coated Paper Products: The ubiquitous disposable coffee cup, sheets of stickers or address labels, and frozen-food boxes are not recyclable.

- Styrofoam: While styrofoam cups and containers are able to be recycled, the cost of doing so is prohibitive. Therefore, few facilities accept them. This is an excellent example of a time when you may want to consider taking advantage of the wide selection of reusable containers.

- Disposable Diapers: The plastic and paper found on diapers are not recyclable.

- Food Wrappers: Plastic wrap, candy wrappers, and snack chip bags cannot be recycled.

- Food-Related Paper Products: Due to the food residue on such products, such as pizza boxes, take-out food containers, napkins, and paper towels, these items cannot be recycled.

Specialty Items

There are some items that businesses and local government services will accept for disposal and recycling. Always look for specially marked receptacles or reach out to your local government to inquire. 

- Plastic Bags: Most supermarkets have receptacles for plastic shopping bags. However, reusable cloth bags are always the best!

- Empty Ink Cartridges: Most business supply stores will recycle these for you.

- Household Batteries: Most areas offer special drop off locations and times to deposit these items. Check with your local municipal office, library, or post office, as they will most likely have this information.

- Clothing And Shoes: Donate your gently worn clothing and shoes to a local church, community center, or resale store.

- Textiles: Large textile items, such as drapes or blankets, can often be donated and will be either reused or down-cycled to make other items such as useful rags.

Do you still have questions about what exactly should be recycled? The professionals at Breeding Roll Off Service are here to help. Call or contact us today!

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