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Stop! Can You Recycle That?

31 March, 2022

Helpful,

Michigan,

Have you ever wondered if you could recycle something; but ultimately just chucked it into the bin? Are you positive you know all the rules when it comes to which item goes where? That three arrow triangle is often what we look for when deciding if the material is recyclable, but we may miss the details of where and how we can. Not everything is fit for the catch-all bin we place on our curbs. We want to clear up what can and cannot be recycled. Save the workers at the recycling plant time and hassle, and make you a better global citizen! 


Common Mistakes

There are many myths when it comes to recycling, and without a ton of resources, recycling centers often get bogged down with sorting unrecyclable and dangerous items out of the mix. Learn what you might be getting wrong in your everyday recycling journey. 


Food-If you are looking to recycle food scraps, the best course of action is to start a home composting journey. Starting with convenient countertop sizes that can lead into premade backyard styles, you can feel more sustainable at home. Everything from coffee grounds to banana peels can be re-purposed into rich soil for your yard or garden! That being said, food should stay out of the home recycling bin. Try to rinse any leftover material that is stuck inside the container, even water can ruin an entire load of recycling. 


Paper items-Paper is often seen as the easiest to recycle, but sadly, many paper items are not a viable resource after being used. Any kind of uncleanable food residue will have to be thrown away. Think of paper napkins, pizza boxes, takeout containers. Paper easily soaks up grease, juices, etc. and is therefore unfit to recycle.


Styrofoam- Another big mis-recycled item is Styrofoam. This common packing material is often chucked into the everyday recycling bin and cannot be processed the same way as glass or paper. If you are able, try to cut down on using Styrofoam and if presented with some, save and take to your local facility that processes Polystyrene.


Bigger Items

Appliance- Small appliances like toaster ovens and microwaves are recyclable but not in your at-home bin! This is a huge problem that occurs which takes up valuable sorting time. A great way to recycle your still working items is to donate them to a local thrift store! This is called a closed loop. When nothing ends up in the landfill but is constantly repurposed for another use. If your appliance is officially dead, read through this excellent guide to recycling it. 


Pots and pans- After upgrading your pots and pans, again, another great use is to donate to a local thrift store. Often these still have more life in them. If they are completely unusable, pots and pans are usually classified as scrap metal. The coating of Teflon makes it difficult to recycle in your home recycling then.


Clothing- Beyond donating to a charity or giving away to friends daily, clothing was previously thought of as un-recyclable. But thanks to modern tech and the push for a greener, more sustainable fashion world, many companies are now making their name for recycled clothing. Check out this list of companies that you can send in your old clothes, buy recycled clothes, and even get credits for buying from! 


Recycling has grown in popularity, for the better of all our world. Try these simple swaps to help your local recycling facility function smoother and at optimum capacity. Keep checking back to the credos gas and power blog for more great lifestyle tips.