While it is great to see more and more people recycling their household waste, there are many common recycling mistakes that people make that you may not be entirely aware of. For many, once you get into the habit of recycling, it becomes a new way of life.
When you begin to recycle, or move to a new city, it is important that you understand the recycling rules in your area, as each area will have different rules that residents are expected to follow, according to Handy Rubbish. As an example, we spoke to Chicago’s Waste Management Staff to put together a few ways you can avoid the most common recycling mistakes.
1. Try Not to Use Plastic Bags
If you use plastic bags to put your recycling items into the recycling bin, try and avoid this. The plastic cannot be recycled and will go to landfill. We would recommend sourcing bio-degradable bags to ensure you are not contributing to the plastic problem, which is supported by Global Citizen in this article.
2. Empty any Containers
When recycling milk containers for example, make sure the cartons are totally empty. This will help recycling stations recycle your items. A little residue is fine, but containers full of liquid should be avoided.
3. Keep Lids on
Contrary to popular belief, it is more beneficial to keep the lid of the container on the item. This will ensure that the item is more recoverable when it comes to the recycling process.
4. No Food
Do not put food in with your recycling material. It is possible to discard the food into the designated food bins, if you choose to recycle foodstuffs. Items placed into food bins will be made into compost for example, and gives the discarded food a new use.
5. When In Doubt…
Throw the item out! This may seem like strange advice. If you are unsure about an item whether it can be recycled or not, it is best to dispose of it in the trash. Items that cannot be recycled that are put into the recycling often slow the recycling process down.
Most of the time, the area in which you live will have detailed advice about what can and cannot be recycled on their website. This will ensure you can tailor your recycling to the exact needs of your local recycling area.
Have you got any advice on how to recycle more efficiently? Let us know! Here is some more advice – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-wrong-mistakes.html.