The basics of recycling: what you should know but probably don’t!

Aug 15 2011

We all KNOW we should recycle but most of us are ignorant as to WHAT and HOW to recycle! Many of us assume that by simply tossing our recyclables in the bin we are doing the right thing. Although this is an important step in the process there are a few additional things to be mindful of here. We will explore how to be an effective and conscientious recycler which in turn will enable us to keep our planet and OCEANS green and clean.

The first question we must answer is what can be recycled? Generally, recyclables are divided into four categories: Plastics, Metals, Paper and Glass. Depending on your local recycling laws you may or may not have to divide your recyclables accordingly.

The next question would be: What materials from these catagories is actually recyclable? and How do we recycle them?

1) Plastics:

Most plastics including but not limited to bottles, bags, and containers are recyclable, however, ONLY if they are RINSED OUT, CLEANED, and EMPTIED. For plastic bottles:

What did I ever do to you?!?!

a) remove cap      b) Rinse and empty bottle

c) Flatten bottle   d) replace cap

Please remember when recycling “6 pack rings” you should cut them up so as to prevent any sort of marine life tragedy. None of us want to be responsible for injuring or killing an innocent creature!

* Note: Styrofoam, toys, airbags as well as all other plastic containers containing toxic material (such motor oil..etc) are NOT recyclable! The best way to deal with these plastics is to either limit/avoid consumption of products packaged in them and/or find creative ways to reuse them!!

2) Metals

Tin, steel, and aluminum are among the metals that can be recycled. Again, we must ensure that all cans are cleaned and emptied.

*Note: Aluminum foil, hangers, Helium containers, paint containers and scarp metal (nails, screws…etc) cannot be recycled. You can research places in your area that will take this things off your hands and put them to good use.

3) Paper

Most forms of paper products including, newspaper, cardboard, paper cups and plates (must be rinsed out first!), books, and magazines can be put in the recycling bin. Remember to keep all shredded paper separately from the rest.

*Note: facial tissues, soiled paper towel along with pizza boxes (these are too greasy!) can not be recycled. The good news… you can compost these things!

4) Glass

Glass bottles, jars, and containers can all be placed in your recycling bin. Beware, however, broken glass should be placed in the trash (or better yet used as art material) and NOT in the recycling.

*Note: Items such as mirrors, dishware, cups and glasses, and decoration and ornaments are not recyclable! Using these as arts and crafts material with the little ones is a fun, creative, and effective way to turn potential garbage into art:)

By informing and educating your children about the do’s and don’ts of recycling you are directly ensuring a cleaner and greener planet and OCEAN in the future. And KIDS it is up to you to teach your parents to be more environmentally aware for the sake of your futures!

  1. Why aren’t glasses recyclable?

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