Fairport-E.Rochester Post
  • 7 common recycling mistakes

  • Remember these rules to help the environment.

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  • Good intention doesn’t always translate into good recycling. Because most recycling programs don’t have enough staff to sort through everyone’s bags, perfectly good recyclables may get dumped in the trash if you don’t follow the rules. Communities vary widely in what they can and can’t recycle, but avoiding these seven common mistakes can keep you from becoming an inadvertent landfill hog.
    1 Recycling broken glass
    Most recycling programs aren’t equipped to handle broken glass. Sweep it up, place it in a bag and put it in the trash.
    2 Assuming coated paper can be recycled
    See if your community takes coated paper items, such as the waxed cardboard of milk cartons. These cartons are generally made out of clean cardboard covered with a thin plastic film, containing all the dyes and label information. Frozen dinner entrée boxes and other coated cardboard packaging have dye applied directly to the cardboard, covered with a clear plastic film. These are more complicated to recycle. Paperboard, such as cereal and cracker boxes, or shoeboxes, should be recycled.
    3 Recycling food-soaked cartons
    Leave the grease-soaked pizza box and oily Chinese takeout carton out of the recycling bin. Ditto for dirty paper napkins. You can, however, tear off and recycle the unsoiled top of a pizza box.
    4 Removing labels
    Most recycling programs do not require you to take the labels off bottles and cans before recycling. However, you should check with your local recycling program to be sure.
    5 Recycling capped bottles
    Most caps are made of a different type of plastic from the rest of the bottle. Removing the cap before recycling eases the sorting process.
    6 Removing staples from paper or cardboard
    New recycling technologies can remove staples or other metal fasteners, usually with powerful magnets.
    7 Not breaking down your boxes
    No matter how small the box, you need to collapse it before placing it with your recyclables. Depending on your community’s recycling guidelines, you may also have to break down boxes so they fit in a paper bag.

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