Most items can be recycled. Common items include soda cans, glass, paper, plastics. Each item has its own recycling rules.
Questions to ask your recycling center from An Eco-Babe’s Guide to Greening It:
When are you open?
What materials to you accept? (Some places don’t take glass.)
How do you want the materials sorted or packaged?
How clean do the materials have to be?
Do you pay for materials and how much?
How to Sort
Here are some general tips.
• Before you crush your aluminum cans, find out how your
recycling center accepts them.
• Separate tin (canned goods) from aluminum (soda) cans.
• Separate your glass containers by color: clear, green and brown. If
the glass is even slightly colored, do not put it in with the clear.
If you have other colored glass, put it with the color it’s closest
to; i.e. darker colors in brown and lighter colors in green.
• Separate paper by color and type. Remove all paperclips and
staples, plastics (windowed part of envelopes) as well as glued
parts (like labels or post-it notes sticky section).
• Newspaper, glossy magazines and cardboard are not to be mixed
with paper. Each needs to be separate.
• Plastic is numbered 1-7 (check the bottom of containers).
Separate them by number. If it’s number 7, it’s not recycleable.
Call your recycling center to see what types of plastic they
accept, and then alter your shopping habits accordingly. Try to
buy only #1 as it is easily recycled into all kinds of products
from carpets to car bumpers.
• Waxed milk and soy cartons are not recyclable. Try to purchase
them in number 1 or 2 plastic or glass.
Remember just about EVERYTHING can be recycled, from your old
phones and fax machines, to your clothes and old appliances. Use the
resources below to find out how.
Donald, Rhonda Lucas. Recycling (True Books: Environment)
Guillain, Charlotte. Reusing and Recycling (Help the Environment)
Inskipp, Carol. Reducing And Recycling Waste (Improving Our
Lund, Herbert F. McGraw-Hill Recycling Handbook, 2nd Edition
Richard, Porter C. The Economics of Waste
The Earth Works Group. The Recycler’s Handbook
Wong, Janet S. and David Roberts. The Dumpster Diver
• Earth 911 (http://www.Earth911.org) – This website has just about all
the information you need. You can even find your municipal
hazardous waste facility just by entering your zip code.
• Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.Epa.gov)
• Global Recycling Network (http://www.Grn.com)
• Recycle your old electronics (http://www.recycles.org),
(http://www.pcsforschools.org) or (http://www.eiae.org)
• Starfish Project (http://www.thestarfishproject.org) – They take your
unwanted medications and distribute them to developing countries
who can’t afford them.
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