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Recycling 101: The Dos and Don’ts

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Recycling is one of the most simple and useful ways to help preserve scarce resources and reduce waste sent to landfills. Unfortunately, a lot of us aren’t aware of how to recycle properly.

There are very clear rules around recycling and if you get something wrong, the whole bin of recycling can be wasted. Here are some easy dos and don’ts when it comes to this very important task.

Do

Recycle paper with staples or envelopes with plastic windows. The metal and plastic will be sorted eventually.

Don’t

Put saturated paper and cardboard into your recycling bin as there will be a low chance of most of it being recycled.

Do

Separate lids from jars, bottles, and cartons so the containers can be easily crushed during recycling. You can recycle your bottle caps, but just make sure they are put inside a larger plastic container of the same material so they don’t jam the machines at the recycling center. The same goes for your fish-shaped soy sauce containers from Japanese restaurants.

Don’t

Try to recycle broken drinking glasses, mirrors or ceramic cups. These guys need to go into the trash as only a little of the wrong type of glass could taint a whole ton of normal glass.

Do

Rinse your aluminum cans, but let them dry so they don’t saturate the other items in the bin.

Don’t

Try to recycle waxed cardboard or coffee cups as the treatment of the paper makes them unable to be recycled.

Do

Continue the process by buying products made from recycled material.

Don’t

Recycle light bulbs, pizza boxes and please don’t try to put your recycling material in plastic bags – this will contaminate your whole bin. Plastic bags can be recycled at specific collection spots (usually at supermarkets) Jump online and find a place near you.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love

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