Recycling Do's and Don'ts
Updated: Mar 26
The U.S. is the number-one trash-producing country in the world, at 1,643 pounds per person per year. In 2008, only a third was recycled, reports the EPA, though experts say more can be. Here is a quick list of recycling do's & don'ts.
Do: Recycle paper with staples, clips, or spirals intact — the metal will be filtered out by machines later.
Don't: Include any paper with food stains (think pizza boxes), as they can contaminate a load.
Don't: Forget to remove bottle caps. They're made of a different type of plastic and can mess up a whole batch.
Do: Return plastic bags to stores. Find a local spot at plasticbagrecycling.org.
FOR GLASS & METAL
Do: Rinse out bottles, jars, and cans; throw away (or recycle) caps.
Don't: Worry about labels — they'll burn off at the plant.
Do: Include washed pie tins and foil, metal bottle caps, wire coat hangers, scrap metal.
Don't: Make the town dump your first stop. One person's trash is another's treasure — so when you want to ditch an old item, first try freecycle.org, Craigslist, or a thrift store that does pickups.
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