By October 24, 2014

How to Recycle: The Ultimate Guide to Recycling

In New York alone, over 239,000 tons of designated metal, glass and plastic are recycled each year BUT each year about 100,000 tons of metal that COULD be recycled is thrown in the trash – instead of the recycling bin. Whether that’s due to laziness or just lack of knowledge about what can be recycled, hopefully this will help outline those details.

Recycle These Items

What to Recycle

  • Metal Cans
  • Aluminum for wrap and trays
  • Household metal
  • Wire hangers
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Dried out paint cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic jugs
  • Milk and juice cartons

How to Prep Your Recyclables

  • Empty and rinse all containers.
  • Place all together in CLEAR plastic bags or rigid containers
  • Remove caps and lids. Place METAL caps and lids in your recycling bin; put plastic caps and lids in the garbage.

What NOT to Recycle

  • Plastics other than plastic bottles and jugs – takeout containers, yogurt containers and toys.
  • Styrofoam – cups, egg cartons, trays, etc.
  • Glass other than glass bottles and jars – mirrors, lightbulbs, ceramics, glassware, etc.
  • Alkaline Batteries – household alkaline batteries are not considered hazardous because they no longer contain mercury.

What About Small Appliances?

Small appliances such as a broken toaster oven, blow dryer or microwave as long as it is mostly metal, typically it can be recycled. If it’s made of more than 50% metal, put it in your recycling bin. If its mostly plastic, put it in the trash.

How to Set Out Recyclables

  • If you live in an apartment, the answer is as simple as reaching out to your building super. If you live in a private house, you will likely need to purchase recycling bins or bags which can be purchased from supermarkets, hardware or home improvement stores.
  • As mentioned above, place paper in CLEAR bags or a designated bin. Flatten and bundle corrugated cardboard, or break into small pieces and place in your paper recycling bin or bag.
  • Empty and rinse food and beverage containers before recycling (which helps control pests). Place all designated metal, glass, plastic and beverage carton recyclables together in CLEAR bags or in a designated bin.

Helpful Hints and Resources:

  • Set up an easy way to keep recyclables separate from garbage everywhere you discard things, such as in the kitchen and where you sort mail.
  • If you are concerned about confidentiality, remove address labels and tear up or shred mail.
  • Avoid pests and odors by rinsing designated metal, glass, and plastic recyclables before storing them.
  • Save space by flattening beverage cartons and plastic bottles – it won’t affect recyclability.
  • Some items not currently accepted through State curbside reycling programs can be recycled through retailer or manufacturer take-back programs.
  • Consider setting up a compost for yard waste and food scraps.

What tips do you have for making recycling and green living an easy part of your everyday life?

Posted in: Green Living

About the Author:

Jon Clark is an Internet Marketing Consultant, Entrepreneur and current editor of the Facebook Marketing Blog. Jon loves coffee, sports and NY. You can follow him on Twitter @jonleeclark or circle him on Google+.

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