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Recycling 101-The Best Way To Get It Done

When you finish with your soda where does your can go? How about recycling. Check out this guide, recycling 101-the best way to get it done.

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When you finish with your soda where does your can go? How about recycling? Check out this guide, recycling 101-the best way to get it done.

Check Local Requirements

First things first for recycling 101. Different places have different resources and guidelines for recycling. Be sure to check with your local recyclers about what materials they are capable of recycling and would like to collect from you.

Keep It Clean

Food is not something your local recycler wants to find in your recycle can. That includes food that is in a recyclable plastic or box. For example, the pizza box. It’s cardboard and big and my desire to recycle it is great! Yet, if there is cheese, crust, or greese in that box then putting it in your recycle bin is a big no no. That jar of peanut butter you just finished off is going to need a quick rinse before it finds its way to the recycle bin. Cleaning out your recyclables saves time and energy as it goes through the process of being recycled.

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Shopping Bags Are A No No

Another recycling 101 tip is in regards your plastic shopping bags. It is so tempting to toss all those plastic grocery shopping bags into the recycle can. Most places cannot recycle that kind of plastic so refrain from adding it to your bin. What you can do is return it to the retailer. Often large stores such as Walmart have a recycling box at the entrance to their store where you can take all your shopping bags for recycling.

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Plastic and Aluminum Bottles

One of the first things all recycling 101 people know is to recycle plastic and aluminum bottles. When recycling your plastic and aluminum bottles try and keep them in their original shape. When they are being recycled they are often sorted by size and shape and when they are crushed or smashed this becomes difficult. You can leave the cap on your plastic bottles its preferred by recyclers. Aluminum cans aren’t the only aluminum that’s recyclable. Feel free to toss in your (food free) aluminum foil as well.

Plastics and Polystyrene

My kids ALWAYS toss the big bulk cereal bags into the recycling can. While I appreciate their enthusiasm for recycling most of those cereal bags cannot be recycled by local companies. They are made of a different material that requires a different kind of recycling. Same with take out food polystyrene containers and styrofoam egg cartons. As for plastic clam shells like the kind your strawberries come in you’ll have to check with your local recyclers if they accept this kind of plastic.

Cardboard

When adding cardboard to your recycle bin there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be sure there is no food (like the pizza box) stuck onto the cardboard. Second, wet cardboard is a no no (as well as wet paper) so try and keep it dry. Third, flatten your cardboard. It takes up less room in your can/bin and it makes it easier to be sorted later.

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Recycling takes a little more effort than just tossing things into a can. With this recycling 101-the best way to get it done, you can become an all star recycler in no time at all.

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Kristin Norby

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