You are probably recycling wrong.
I know, I know, you think you are doing the right thing, tossing those cardboard Chinese containers into the recycling bin, but that savory sauce cloaking your Kung Pao is not good for the recyclers. Same goes for your Meat Lover's pizza box. That grease renders the paper fiber useless because it can’t be separated from the oils.
Styrofoam has a 6 on it! Yeah, plastic number 6! I can recycle it, you think. Nope, not in your bin. A lot of places won’t take it, but some municipalities have a drop off location. Let me Google that for you.
While plastic bags can be recycled, these, again, cannot be mixed in with your water bottles, (hello, wasteful, get an aluminum or glass bottle), milk jugs, etc. Take them to your grocery store, where most of that thin plastic can be recycled (you would be surprised, smarty pants). Check your bread bags and paper towel wrap, much of this can be recycled, too.
You know how one bad apple spoils the barrel? Same goes for recycling. One of these mistakes can cause a whole bale of material to be rejected. So be smart, not lazy, when it comes to recycling.
You are taking the time to recycle, so take the time to do it right. Here are five easy tips to start recycling the RIGHT way:
- DO Rinse out food containers
- DO Cut out grease stained or oily areas of pizza boxes or to go containers if they don’t rinse off
- DO Collect your grocery bags (the plastic ones) – you can fit about 30 inside of a single bag, so just use one to collect the others! Put those inside your reusable bags so you don’t forget on your next trip to the store. Or, put them in your car, truck, scooter, Bird, whatever, depending on how you get to the store!
- DON’T put styrofoam in your recycling bin, they won’t accept it.
- DO check your containers and see if they are recyclable. Including bread and bun bags, shrink wrap, paper towel bags etc. You will be surprised at what is recyclable these days.
And remember to tell your favorite fast food supplier to hold the chopsticks, sweet and sour and soy packets, extra wasabi and all the other stuff you collect and shove away, pretending it won’t arrive AGAIN with your next order.
Recycling is great if you do it right.
Reusing is better, it is the original recycling!
Reduce means you limit the amount that you have to recycle.
You have received your Master’s in Recycling. You’re welcome.
-The CaraGreen Team