Recycling Guide for Beginners

Recycling Guide for Beginners

July 13, 2013 | Apartment Lifestyle, Green Living

Going green certainly has it’s perks, especially if you have a proper recycling guide. Since living sustainably has become a huge trend for so many renters out there, it can sometimes be confusing about what you can (and can’t) recycle. For the most part, several varieties of paper, metal cans, cardboard and glass containers are all fair game.

However, like most other things, recycling isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. It’s tough to try to make the world a better place sometimes, and that includes sifting and separating your recyclables. To ease some confusion, here’s an recycling guide for what should go into your bin and what should stay out of it.

Things You Should Never Recycle:

  • Aerosol cans: Yes, they are technically made of metal, but they also contain harmful chemicals.

  • Dyed paper

  • Ceramics and pottery

  • Diapers: If you want to be a green parent, make sure to buy the biodegradable kind.

  • Household glass: This includes mirrors, light bulbs, windows and dinnerware.

  • Medical waste: This is a no-brainer.

  • Juice boxes: There are some companies that have started using recyclable boxes, so make sure to check the label before tossing.

  • Napkins and paper towels: Because of the grime and substances they may have absorbed, it’s best to leave these out.

  • Pizza boxes: Notoriously greasy, pizza boxes don’t work well with recycling.

  • Plastic bags and wrap: Unfortunately, these items cannot be recycled. However, they can be reused.

  • Wet paper: The fibers in wet paper are often damaged and no good for recycling purposes.

  • Tyvek shipping envelopes: These are the kind you get from the post office or delivery companies.

Recycling Beyond the Norm:

  • Blue jeans: If your tattered old blue jeans would never make it to the thrift store, there are several companies that make insulation products from recycled denim and cotton fibers.

  • Car fluids: If you like to change your oil yourself, there are ways you can recycle several of the liquids your car needs, including antifreeze and motor oil.

  • Cooking oil: Due to the biofuel industry, cooking oil recycling has really taken off in recent years. Many local restaurants are also known to accept cooking oil for recycling, so check with some eateries in town.

  • Sports Items: Instead of tossing that old football or tennis racket into the trash, check with your local community center or school to see if they could use them for recreational purposes.

  • Appliances: In case you haven’t heard, there is a Cash for Appliances program that will actually give you cash incentives for your old appliances of you upgrade to environmentally friendly appliances.

  • Wallet waste: If you’ve ever cleaned out your purse or wallet, you know that plastic cards are a huge source of the waste. Fortunately some cities have begun to accept the PVC (the material the cards are made of). Check with your local recycling center to see if their recycling guide includes wallet waste.

Being more green is a great way to enjoy your new apartment and save money, so use this recycling guide wisely. Happy recycling!

 

[Image Source: Flickr - epsos.de]

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