We all know that recycling is one of the most important things that we can do for the environment. But what exactly should (and shouldn’t) we be recycling? While some towns make it easy to know what (and where) you should put your recyclables, often the question of what and where to recycle can be confusing. Here are five things that you should be recycling and some tips on where to recycle them.
Aluminum. All of It.
Almost any local recycling program or recycling center accepts aluminum, but what many people don’t realize is that aluminum recycling isn’t limited to cans. Anything made of aluminum can be easily recycled, including used aluminum foil, old pie tins and even aluminum patio furniture. If it’s made of aluminum, it should go in the recycling bin when done.
Again, this is typically rather simple as most local recycling programs support plastic bottles. It’s also among the most important matter for you to recycle as plastic can take decades to degrade in a landfill (if it even does). Check with your local recycling program to find out what other plastics you can recycle.
Many people don’t realize the importance of recycling their electronics, but in fact throwing your electronics out can not only cause pollution and water-degradation, it can contribute to harmful and illegal e-scrap practices in developing nations. Many electronics manufacturers and retailers have recycling programs where you can turn your used electronics in for proper disposal. Call around before you put used electronics into the trash.
Most local recycling programs don’t accept plastic lids because the harder plastic lids are made of is harder to recycle and the small lids can clog up recycling machines. However, if you take just a moment on the internet you can find many, many programs that allow you to mail in your plastic lids for recycling. Just keep a bag under the skin, throw your plastic lids into it, and when it’s full, ship them off to be recycled.
Not unlike generic electronics above, simply throwing your cell phone out causes pollution and can lead to unhealthy e-scrap practices. Consider Hope Phones, which will take your old, used cell phone and recycle it into a tool for doctors who are working in developing nations.
Recycling is more than just throwing your newspapers into a recycling bin! Learning to be responsible about making sure that goods get turned into postconsumer goods is a key to a healthy planet in the future. plastic shredder machine