If you’re new to the world of recycling, you may feel overwhelmed and unable to tell where to start. For some of us, recycling means putting paper and plastic into its own separate container, but recycling is more than that. There are many items that can be recycled, and if you think you should only be recycling paper and plastic, the following list will help you better understand what you can recycle and how.
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Plastic is one of the most common items that people recycle. If you have a recycle pickup with your normal trash pick up, then you could simply place all of your plastic items into your container. If you need to bring your plastic to a recycle center, then they may require you to separate the plastic based on the number at the bottom of the bottle or container.
If you have plastic bags from laundromats or grocery stores, you can recycle these too. Keep in mind that many roadside recycle pickups will not accept these, but you can turn them in to your local grocery store.
Sunglasses, PVC pipes, DVD cases and other plastic items are also recyclable. You may want to call your recycle pickup to see if they accept these. If not, most drop-off recycling centers will.
Paper is the other most popular item that is recycled. This includes regular notebook and computer paper as well as newspapers and magazines. If you have a roadside pickup, these companies will take almost any type of paper product. If you don’t have a roadside pickup, your local recycle center will surely take your paper off your hands.
Glass is another popular item that can be recycled. You can typically recycle any glassware product through a roadside pickup or drop off recycle center, but if the glass contained a chemical, you may want to contact the recycle center first to determine if it’s acceptable. They may have to put that product through a separate process in order to ensure that it’s safe.
If you’re an avid pop drinker or if you recently took an aluminum roof off your old shed, make sure to recycle these items. Most recycle centers will accept all aluminum products, and some will even give you about five cents for every pound of aluminum you bring in to their facility.
There are plenty of other items that can be recycled that most people don’t realize. Acid batteries, cardboard and most building materials can also be recycled. Lead, oil, tires, yard waste and steel cans can be recycled into other useful products. Some roadside pickups will not accept these items, but your recycle center will usually take them separately.
Appliances can also be recycled because they’re made from recyclable materials. These products will generally need to be dropped off at a recycle center or a special pick-up arrangement will need to be made. If you can’t get your old appliances to a recycle center, you may also want to contact your electric company. ComEd will take your old appliances and recycle them properly, and they’ll also give you a small discount on your next bill because of it.
Caroline Jones is in the process of going green and often shares recycling tips for large families via blogging.