In an average year, the United States generates over 200 million tons of trash. This garbage goes on to clog landfills and further pollute the environment. While there are some things that can’t be recycled, many things can and it’s important to learn how your household can do its part in helping keep these materials out of landfills. To help make the process simpler, here are four tips on how you can recycle smarter, not harder.
1. Keep Plastic Bags Out of Recycling
A little-known fact is that plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled by trash removal services. This makes reusable bags all the more important when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendly living. While you may not be able to put them out with your recycling, many stores do offer recycling for plastic bags.
2. Double Check What’s Recyclable and What’s Not
While you may think that just because an item has a triangle on it that it can be tossed in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, this is misleading. In the plastic making process, many items are stamped with a “resin stamp” which simply indicates what an item is made out of, not that it is recyclable. Be sure to always double-check your labels before tossing them.
3. Black Plastics Cannot Be Recycled Either
All items made out of black plastic are also non-recyclable. This is due to the fact that they don’t reflect light and therefore aren’t detectable by the scanners in recycling plants. Because of this, it can end up contaminating other materials due to improper sorting.
4. Clean Your Recyclables Before Tossing
While many people simply toss their bottles and other items into the bin without rinsing, this can make recycling difficult due to residue. The leftover food and drink can also attract pests which can both get into your bins and force recyclers to use more resources in order to clean the items. Take a few seconds to rinse your items before tossing them to make this process easier and more hygienic.
Recycling is an important way we can help reduce our impact on the plant and cut down on the amount of waste we produce. Consider these tips before recycling to help make the process easier for both you and your recycling facilities. By following these simple steps you can help do your part to make the world a greener place.