Wild Things That Come Up In Recycling

RecyclAbility Logo

With the increasing awareness of building a sustainable future, communities have become thoughtful of waste disposal and recycling household waste. In the wake of recycling, people have started to dump everything into recycling bins. While recycling is important to ensure a healthier environment, it’s important to know that not all items are recyclable.

Although recycling is a great initiative to contribute to the environment, we need to keep a tab on whether we are recycling effectively, or just getting rid of waste for the sake of it. According to a report on waste management, four out of ten items in the recycling bin don't belong there. This is a matter of concern and must be addressed on priority because in such cases, the non-recyclable items contaminate the entire load and recycling becomes a struggle.

We need to understand that successful recycling is only possible when we segregate recyclable items from other waste that might interfere with the recycling process or cause more harm to the environment. So, we’ve compiled a list of wild things that come with recycling. You need to steer clear of these items in the recycling bin.

Continue reading to make sure that you recycle without any guilt.

What’s the dirty truth behind recycling?

No doubt, recycling is good to reduce waste, but the downside of recycling is when we put all things together, including plastic, pizza boxes, gift wraps, shredded paper, etc., into the recycling bin, assuming they’re recyclable. Now that’s a problem because soft plastic, pipes, straws, sparkle wrappers or foil gift papers, and many other waste materials can clog the recycling machines and slow down the process.

So you must eliminate non-recyclable things from the bins before disposing of them. Let us learn more about some common offenders that disturb the recycling process.

  • Styrofoam

Styrofoam is used extensively for transporting goods safely and for making disposable plates, cups, etc. It is made with polystyrene, which is not easily degradable. When you throw it into the recycling bins, it melts away and sticks on other materials, making recyclable items unfit for recycling. So, it’s important to be cautious about how you use it.

  • Old paint cans and paint brush

While paint brushes are garbage, and Sarcan does not accept them for recycling, old paint cans are recyclable at Sarcan only if they are clean and have lids attached. Since old paint is unfit for recycling with other materials, it needs to be recycled separately by following a different approach. It’s advisable not to dump them into blue bins at the curbside, instead, you can drop them off at Sarcan directly.

  • Small metal pieces and chains

Metal is malleable, ductile, and can be melted at high temperature to remold. That's why a lot of people throw them into the recycling bins. Technically, metallic pieces like tabs, nuts, and small pieces of chain are recyclable, but these small metals can jam the recycling machines. Hence, these metal pieces have to be dealt with separately.

  • Putting food residue in recycling bins

Food that is leftover in the containers, jars, boxes, and bottles can potentially contaminate the entire recyclable load and cause a serious problem in recycling. Hence, cleaning out food residues is important. Make sure you rinse out the container with water before throwing it into the bin. Also, you can use leftover food material to create compost, a natural fertilizer. Think about it!

Which products can be dangerous for recycling?

In addition to the above-mentioned things, be sure not to throw these items into recycling bins:

  1.  Pizza boxes with leftover food: Pizza boxes are recyclable as long as they are clean, which means there should be no grease or food particles on them. If one side of the pizza box is dirty and the other side is clean, the clean part needs to be ripped off and put in recycling and the other half in the garbage.
  2. Gift wrap: Most of the gift wrap sheets are recyclable but not all. Wraps that are foil or have sparkles or sequences on them are not recyclable. Do not put them in recycling bins.
  3. Shredded paper: It is recyclable as long as it’s in a bag. Only office-type paper can be recycled. Make sure no newspaper is mixed in with the shredded paper.

Do you know why recycling is important?

Recently, the government of the United Kingdom announced to recycle about 65% of municipal waste by the year 2035 to deal with pollution. The stats show how crucially we need to follow recycling methods to preserve the environment.

Recycling is essential for our planet's future, and here are some points that show why…

  • Recycling protects natural ecosystem

Recycling helps reduce pressure on the natural ecosystem. If you follow, most discarded items will be recycled and reused efficiently, eventually boosting a sustainable environment. As a result, there will be less damage to the environment because of reduced pollution.

  • Reduces raw material demand

Raw material demand has increased dramatically, putting tremendous pressure on the environment to produce more. Most of us are exploiting natural resources without realizing how much damage is caused to the environment. With recycling, we can reduce this damage and help the environment heal.

  • Saves energy

Making new things from recycled material consumes less energy than making products from scratch. For instance, if you make paper from recycled paper pulp, it uses 40% less energy than wood fiber. Likewise, if you produce any other product from recycled material, you’ll save a lot of energy. What can be better than this?

  • Reduces trash into bin

The most important thing about recycling is that it reduces the amount of trash sent to landfills. While many materials are sent for recycling, only a handful of them is left untreated. Recycling also reduces household trash, eventually making our lives healthier, cleaner, and greener.

Not sure what to recycle?

Forget Everything and Remember the Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

If you're unsure about items that can be recycled, the three R’s trick can help reduce waste. We need to build a habit of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Reuse material that can easily be reused. For example, glass bottles can be reused as water bottles. You can also reuse containers to store things. Reduce garbage and use kitchen waste to create compost. Recycle recyclable items like paper, glass bottles, and plastic.

Remember, your small efforts toward waste management and recycling can help the environment to heal faster and more efficiently.

Still have questions about recycling?

Recycling becomes easier if you know the ins and outs of the process. It becomes convenient and fun when you have the right knowledge. Although we've eased the recycling puzzle and shed some light on what doesn't belong in the blue bin, you can download the Recycle Coach app and get information about what to recycle and what not.

Photo Gallery: Recycling Blog will appear here on the public site.