You just finished your second iced coffee of the day (I get it, it’s been a long day), and you’re about to throw it away when you pause. You’re pretty sure you can stick it in the blue bin but you’re not 100% sure. You know you learned about recycling back in elementary school, honestly you don’t really remember what goes where.
Recycling is as easy as choosing the right bin and being conscience about your choices. I’m going to break it down for you so that you never have to struggle with the age old question, “Can I recycle this?” again.
What Can I Recycle?
Paper: Mail, magazines, newspaper, cardboard boxes (including stuff like cereal boxes), paper towel rolls, shoe boxes and gift boxes.
Plastic: Bottles containing any type of beverage, toiletry bottles, milk or juice jugs, and any type of food container.
Glass: Food and beverage containers.
Metal: Food and beverage cans.
#SpoonTip: You have to rinse off any of these items if they’re contaminated with food or other products before putting them in the recycling.
What Can’t I Recycle?
Paper: Anything soiled with food, paper cups or plates, napkins, and towels.
Plastic: Microwaveable trays, styrofoam, plastic wraps, any bottle that contained hazardous materials.
Glass: Dishes, vases, mirrors, or windows.
Metal: Paint cans or anything containing Mercury.
What Do The Numbers On The Bottom Really Mean?
Never understood what that triangle on the bottom of your water bottle was? You’re not alone. It turns out those numbers on the bottom of plastic material can actually say a lot about what you’re consuming. The numbers ranging from 1-7 give information about the chemicals used in the plastic as well as the safety of the material. Here’s a full list of what the individual numbers mean if you’re dying to know the chemicals in number 5.
Where/How Can I Recycle?
Cities may differ in how often they pick on recycling bins, so the safest bet is to ask when the city will pick it up. If you need to drop off your recycling, instead of leaving it curbside, check out this recycling center finder.