Know what can and can’t be recycled. Paper, plastic containers, glass, cans, and cardboard are the most commonly recycled materials. Items like plastic bags, plastic wrap, styrofoam, paper towels, tissues, and aluminum foil are commonly mistaken as recyclable materials. However, they should be placed in the trash. If you place materials that cannot be recycled into the bin, they can ruin the entire load and cause it to end up in a landfill instead.
Avoid small items. Avoid recycling small items, such as caps, pieces of paper, can tabs, plastic cutlery, and pen caps, even if they are made of recyclable materials. These items can get lodged in sorting machinery at the recycling center.
Clean before recycling. Containers should be free of food waste, rinsed, and dried before being placed into a recycling bin to avoid contaminating the entire batch.
Keep a list of recycling guidelines nearby. Every community has a different recycling program depending on what local facilities can process. Keep a list of the guidelines nearby to ensure you are recycling correctly.
Pay attention to the numbers. Not all plastic and glass containers are made equally and many may not be recyclable in your area. Make sure to check the numbers inside the recycle symbol on the bottom of the container and refer to your recycling guidelines to determine which types will be accepted by your local facility before placing them in the bin.