Recycling 101

We are told recycling is important and necessary to sustain our planet’s resources and environment. This is undoubtedly true, but what are some strategies TO recycle? What CAN’T be recycled? Where do all the materials we recycle GO anyways? After some research on the National Recycling Coalition website, here is some basic information and a few tips to improve your recycling efficiency!

CLEANLINESS COUNTS: Rinsing cans and keeping boxes out of the weather makes them easier to process, thus keeping costs down.

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT GOES IN YOUR BIN: Be an accurate recycle-er! Cereal boxes are good but not greasy pizza boxes; recycle your milk jugs but take off the caps. Check your bins lids and follow instructions!

GOOD BETS: Steel cans, aluminum, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, plastics bottles, glass bottles and jars, and any kind of clean, dry cardboard can all be recycled (sometimes for money!) at your local recycling center.

PROBABLY NOT: Styrofoam, light bulbs, food-soiled paper, wax paper, and ceramics are probably not recyclable. Be aware and try to use less of these materials.

DO RECYCLE ELECTRONICS: Recycle your old computers and cell phones. Check out Dell, Stables, and Waste Management Recycle America Web sites for information on how can recycle these items.

HAZARDOUS WASTES HAVE THEIR PLACE: Household hazardous wastes, like paint cans, motor oil, antifreeze, car batteries, pesticide, pool chemicals, etc., usually need to be disposed of separately. Again, check your community resources and guidelines.Sometimes recyclable products are recycled into exactly what you’d expect. Old newspapers are recycled into new newspapers, and old glass bottles are recycled into new glass bottles. However, there are thousands of different products created out of recycled materials! Here are just a few:

GLASS BEVERAGE CONTAINERS are recycled into materials for roads, marbles, decorative tiles, surfboards, and jewelry.

FIVE PLASTIC SODA BOTTLES yield enough fiber for one extra-large T-shirt, one square foot of carpet, or enough fiber to fill one ski jacket.

PLASTIC BOTTLES are also recycled into carpet, park benches, picnic tables, park benches, pipes, flower pots, and sleeping bags.

MILK JUGS are recycled into sandbox toys, tea sets, and cookware.

STEEL AND ALUMINUM CANS are recycled into new cars, bikes, appliances, cook ware, lawn chairs, window frames, toys, fire hydrants, and tools.

NEWSPAPER is recycled into festive wrapping paper, construction paper, tissues, game boards, animal bedding, puzzles, and telephone books.

WORN-OUT SNEAKERS are recycled into material used in basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks, and playgrounds.

TIRES are recycled into shoes, purses, raincoats, umbrellas, farm tools, and hats.

FLIP-FLOPS are recycled into doormats, jewelry, toys, and furniture.

MIXED PAPER is recycled into tissues, napkins, paper towels, school supplies (folders, index cards, and notebooks, and even cat litter.

CARDBOARD is recycled into brown paper lunch bags, cereal boxes, and soap boxes.

Once you start recycling and get into the habit, it becomes second nature. And you will be blown away by how little you actually throw away! Get Chipper and start recycling today!


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