Written by Alexa Smith
How to ensure your recycling is the best it can be.
Recycling has gone up almost 7% in the past 20 years as more and more people become concerned about the environment. From companies rolling out “greener” products to schools and businesses enforcing recycling programs – eco-friendly is everywhere you look. In many cities, especially in Austin, it’s the norm for resident’s to have their own recycling regime. But how effective are our recycling practices in our homes? Many people don’t sort their recyclables correctly which can make an entire batch of items that are non-recyclable. Below are some of the most common recycling mistakes that you can avoid to become more responsible in recycling.
- Recycling plastic film items
Items such as grocery bags, plastic Amazon mailers, and other plastic items cannot be recycled with Austin’s curbside pickup program. Check out Austin’s “What Do I Do With?” page to find where to take these and other items or search for a plastic film collection location on this website.
- Not rinsing out food residue
Items such as jars, bottles, and even milk jugs need to be rinsed and dried before tossing into your recycling bin. Any food residue left on the items can contaminate the entire batch of recycling and make it non-recyclable.
- Not breaking down cardboard boxes
While put-together cardboard boxes won’t be non-recyclable, you’ll be able to fit more into your bin and make pick up easier when you flatten and break down your cardboard boxes.
- Not preparing foil correctly
YES foil can be recycled! Just make sure there’s no food residue and take the time to crumble it into a ball at least two inches wide. Or, you can always save it and create some foil sculptures.
- Recycling pizza boxes
Due to the amount of grease left on pizza boxes – they are unable to be recycled. Even if there’s no more food residue, it’s virtually impossible to get the grease out of the cardboard. So it’s better to keep it out of recycling to ensure the batch is not contaminated.