recycling tips: how to avoid throwing the wrong stuff in your bin
Can you throw a foam plastic take-out container in the bin or should you go to the landfill?
How about the pizza box? A plastic bag? A garden hose?
According to a study published by the Grocery Manufacturers Association in April, a staggering 92% of Americans are not sure about it all.
Depending on where you live, the rules for recycling can make a big difference.
In some places, people can throw all their recyclable items into the same bin.
In other towns they have to separate paper or cardboard from cans and bottles.
The requirements for plastics are particularly confusing, and this part explains why only 9% of plastic is recycled.
Just because you throw things into the bin doesn\'t mean it automatically becomes a new product.
\"People are very good.
This is for good intentions, \"said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling at Republic Services, one of the largest waste management companies in the United States.
\"They are confused again.
Use or donate with \"recycling.
We have lampshades or clothes that do not belong to the bin on the side of the road.
But we have diapers and half. eaten pizzas.
\"If you throw something that does not belong there into the bin, the offending item may be taken out and sent to the landfill.
But things that are not properly recycled are often not filtered.
They can disrupt sorting equipment, cause delays in recycling plants, or mix up with good things and ship to new places for further processing, polluting the whole pack of other valuable materials.
All this confusion led to the recovery crisis in 2018.
Over the past 20 years, China has imported about half of the world\'s plastics, paper and metals for recycling, and as part of pollution control, China has suddenly closed the door to most of its garbage.
Many items purchased by China from abroad are not actually recycled: Some things are too difficult to handle, too expensive, and some are contaminated by things that are not cleaned or not cleaned
Any valuable recyclable material.
Instead, they are sent to landfill sites, dumped in rivers or burned.
After China imposed a ban, other Southeast Asian countries began to impose similar restrictions on imported waste.
So some cities around the United StatesS.
Had to reduce or cancel the recycling plan.
In order to make recycling easier and more effective, the government and big businesses must work together to reduce the amount of garbage we produce, while designing a more responsible approach to garbage disposal.
At the same time, for what we are trying to recycle, we can do something simple to be smarter.
The best thing to do is keep it simple and focus on basic items: you can put plastic soda bottles and aluminum cans into the recycle bin no matter where you live.
Glass bottles, paper and cardboard are also fairly safe bets, although many communities require them to be separated from other recyclable items.
Plastic is really tricky.
Items printed with the \"recycling symbol\"-triangles with numbers in the middle-are not necessarily recyclable.
Indeed, Cody Marshall, a strategist at the recycling partnership, says recyclers don\'t actually want you to try to use these symbols as a guide, a non-profit organization that invests corporate money into local garbage infrastructure.
\"The numbers on the container are actually used by people to identify the type of resin.
Marshall told Huffington Post that it didn\'t help the average consumer.
Keller agrees with this, noting that his company is trying to use words that people actually use when talking about recyclable plastics: water bottles, milk bottles, detergent bottles, butter barrels.
Hard plastics like this are often recyclable.
It\'s just as important to know what doesn\'t belong in your roadside collection box.
Most cities publish recycling rules online.
You can go to the BeRecycled website to find your.
Org, which allows you to enter a ZIP code and return a list of local websites with official information.
Big recycling companies across the country are struggling to solve the same problem, Marshall said: hoses and ropes, plastic bags, propane cans, needles and clothes.
These things should not be mixed up with your family recycling.
Plastic that is bent, elastic, or rough should also not be placed in the trash bin on the side of the road.
They are a small part of the problem, but the guidelines around these projects are often confusing.
Remove or scrape food from the container as much as possible.
You can even rinse them clean.
But you don\'t need to wash them thoroughly, especially if you live in a drought --prone area.
When you throw them in the bin, just make sure they are relatively clean.
This is especially important if you live in a place where paper, plastic and cans are all placed in the same trash can-food scraps or water can ruin very good paper.
Unless you live in a place where you need to fix recyclable items in plastic bags, please put them in the bin on the side of the road.
For example, residents of New York City should put their recycled items in plastic bags.
But many municipalities are not allowed to do so.
\"A lot of the time it\'s not safe for our staff to tear these bags apart, or it takes too much time,\" Keller said . \".
\"A lot of bags go straight into the landfill.
\"If you\'re not sure if something can be recycled, don\'t put it in a bin on the side of the road.
Yes, it could be buried.
But it will go there if you try to recycle it.
Waste Management, another largest garbage company in the country, \"spends about 140,000 hours a year cleaning plastic bags and curlers (
Garden hose, Christmas lights, chain, etc. )
\"From our equipment, this is the time to recycle more materials,\" said Janette Micelli, a spokesman for the company . \".
\"It is better to make mistakes in a non-recyclable project, not a non-recyclable project
Recyclables mess up the collection all day long.
\"Not everything is being recycled, there is nothing bad recycling practices that also push up the cost of recycling services,\" Marshall said . \".
For things you\'re not sure about, like batteries, bulbs and propane tanks, there may be a local project near you to help you with them. (
Please google or BeRecycled. org. )
Plastic bags can be sent back to the grocery store in many cases.
They will go into your trash can without a local show.