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Updated: July 14, 2017

World's Shortest Recycling Guide

Good to Recycle

Bad to Recycle

World's Shortest Recycling Guide

Glass & Related Items

Good to Recycle

Unbroken glass containers - Easy to sort, good value, quick disposal.

  • Clear is the most valuable. Lids can go with metal.
  • Glass is commonly separated by color for recycling because each type melt at a different temperature

Bad to Recycle

  • Broken glass - Hard to sort.
  • Ceramics - Don't melt, cannot be composted, sharp corners pose danger. Contaminate glass
    High-tech ceramics know as refractories found in research institutions may be made from valuable oxides which can be recycled.
  • Pyrex - Chemically treated to withstand high temperatures, doesn't melt with regular glass. Not pure glass, leading to chemical compounds that can affect the quality of the recycled glass.
  • Tableware, Windows, Mirrors - Easily broken, takes a lot of time to sort.
Light Bulbs

Good to Recycle

CFL light bulbs - Contain traces of mercury, making recycling necessary.

Bad to Recycle

  • Incandescent light bulbs - contain a vacuum or inert gas making them non-toxic and disposable.
  • LED light bulbs do not contain toxic chemicals and can be disposed like incandescent bulbs.
Cans and Foils

Good to Recycle

Aluminum and steel empty cans, lids, bands, caps and foil - Made from metals and derivatives which can be recycled again and again.

Bad to Recycle

  • Full cans, cans with paint, spray cans unless instructed and hazardous waste - Contents of unopened, expired, or not wholly empty cans contain other ingredients which cannot be easily separated during the recycling process.
  • Aluminum foil - Usually contains traces of food and other substances that contaminate the recycling process.
    1. Aluminum foil is dishwasher safe and can be reused.
Plastics

Good to Recycle

Plastic stamped number 1 or number 2 on the bottom, including bottles, jam jars, oven-ready food trails, cleaning products containers - Most common forms of polyethylene (PET, polyester, HDPE) are handled by most recycling centers.

  • Some areas only approve transparent plastic or specific shapes.
  • Caps are often made from a different type of plastic and not always marked. Remove.
  • You don’t have to remove labels from bottles.

Bad to Recycle

Plastic types number 3, number 4, number 5, number 6, and number 7, including blister wrap, cling wrap, window cleaning bottles, medical tubing, plastic toys, plastic bags, food containers, medicine containers, bottle caps, egg cartons, disposable tableware, bike helmets, juice and ketchup containers, Styrofoam, CD and DVD cases. - Difficult to recycle, can be easily mixed up with other plastics leading to tricky separation.

  • Even a tiny amount of the wrong type of plastic can spoil a melt.
Bags

Good to Recycle

Clean and dry grocery bags, shopping bags, bread and produce bags, zipper food storage bags - Many grocery chains feature collection beans that streamline recycling for these specific types of bags. Additional recycling drop-off locations may be available in your area.

  • Remove receipts from bags.Caps are often made Reuse bags until they’re torn.
  • Pick up pet waste using old bags.

Bad to Recycle

Frozen food bags, candy bar wrappers, chip bags – Usually made from hard to recycle combinations of plastic and usually containing traces of other substances.

Paper

Good to Recycle

  • Mixed paper: magazines, photocopies, junk mail, computer printouts, shoe or cereal cardboard boxes (on occasion phone books and corrugated cardboard are also accepted), plastic window envelops, plain wrapping paper, shredded paper.
    1. Shredding paper reduces the grade of paper. We are able to recycle paper fiber around 7 times until it becomes too small.
  • Clean dry newspapers & newspaper inserts
    1. Pack newspapers tightly in large brown grocery sacks.
    2. Keep dry.

Bad to Recycle

Napkins, tissues, stickers, milk cartons, carbon paper, waxed paper, laminated paper (foil, drink boxes, food bags, and fast food wraps), thermal fax paper, neon paper, any food-stained or wet paper, wrapping paper with glitter or metallic coating - Contain other substances or chemicals other than paper and ink which cannot be easily separated during recycling.

Aluminum & Other Metals

Good to Recycle

Scrap aluminum like pots, lawn chairs, and window frames.

Bad to Recycle

Metal parts that are attracted to magnets, and any non-metal parts used for those products - Can be hard to separate and are often made by different alloys.

Good to Know

  1. Asphalt and bituminous concrete — Can now be recycled in selected locations through crushing, a process that turns concrete debris into a reusable product for parking lots or road foundations.
  2. Motor oil and Tires — Contact your waste management company, tire shop, or any local authority available. Old tires are difficult to recycle and call for an environmentally safe approach. So does old oil.
  3. Automotive (SLI) batteries, sealed lead-acid and gel-cell batteries — Take them to an automotive or security dealer for recycling or trade in. Lead is very damaging to the environment.
  4. Rechargeable batteries (portable appliance, shaver, cordless phone, computer) — Throw away rechargeable batteries, but recycle phone batteries if local regulations allow. Recycle lead acid, nickel-cadmium (highly toxic), nickel-metal-hydride, and lithium-ion batteries. If no disposal service is available for nickel-metal-hydride batteries in your area, dispose of maximum 10 at a time.
  5. Laser/Inkjet printer cartridges — Reach out to one of the many inkjet cartridge refillers or recyclers.
  6. Household toxics (cleaners, solvents, paints, oils, pesticides) — Do not throw away carelessly or dump into storm drains. Call your management waste company for assistance and advice, especially when dealing with significant quantities.
  7. Computers, household goods, eyeglasses — Make a donation to charity or to a repair shop. Encrypt and then erase the hard drive first.
  8. Water, dirt, mould or other contamination — When dealing with large quantities or health threat, call local waste management company or competent authority. Can foster bacteria and other contaminants.
  9. Plastic bags, wrappers, film, and other forms of plastic without any plastic type label — Complex chemical makeup makes the separation of ingredients very difficult. Mixing these types of plastics together compromises the quality of the recycled plastic. Throw away safely.
  10. Product samples —Wide variety of products and ingredients and usually limited quantities make product samples recycling unfeasible in most situations.
  11. Rubber bands — Complicated recycling makes few recycling centers accept them. Natural latex rubber bands can be composted.
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