How Do I Recycle?

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One of the main obstacles to recycling is a lack of knowledge of the practical aspects of recycling. There is a lot of confusion on what people should and shouldn’t recycle. On top of that, not everyone understands the rules of recycling. Therefore, to know how to recycle, it’s essential that you learn more about the items you can recycle in Austin and how different rules affect the recycling process.

What Are The Rules Of Recycling?

Recycling rules exist to improve the efficiency of the recycling process. However, the main reason why there are recycling rules is to ensure that your recyclables end up in the bin and get a second life. Below are the main rules that everyone must follow when recycling.

Don’t Use Plastic Bags When Recycling Or Bag Your Recyclables.

Homeowners and even recycling service providers often overlook this rule. Most homeowners bag their recyclables in plastic bags and also believe that plastic bags are part of the recyclables. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Plastic bags are contaminants in the recycling process.

It turns out that sorting machines at your local recycling plant can’t handle your plastic bags. As a result, plastic bags end up jamming the sorting equipment, which leads to the shut down of the entire recycling plant. To avoid shutdowns, some recycling facilities completely ignore bagged recyclables leading to good recyclables ending up in the landfill. Other facilities must invest more time to clear the plastic bags, thus increasing their operational costs.

Now that you’re aware of why plastic bags aren’t recyclables, you need to find alternative ways to manage your plastic bags.

1. You can reuse your plastic bags rather than get new bags.

2. You can drop your plastic bags at your local big-box store or supermarket for recycling. 

Food And Liquids Shouldn’t End Up In Your Recycling Bins.

Have you ever wondered why you should always ensure your recyclables are clean and dry? It’s because food and liquids are considered contaminants in the recycling process. Recycling contaminated recyclables usually result in the manufacture of poor quality products.

You should especially pay special care to paper recyclables. Paper contaminated by food or liquids never ends up in the recycling process. For example, most recycling facilities don’t accept pizza boxes due to the residue oil left in the boxes. Paper is usually mixed with water in a large churner during the paper recycling process. And if oil had contaminated the paper, the oil wouldn’t dissolve in water. Instead, it’ll mix with the paper pulp resulting in the low-quality paper.

Members of a single-stream recycling community must avoid including recyclables contaminated by food or liquids in their recycle bins. They must do this to avoid the risk of cross-contamination by ensuring their recyclables are food and liquid-free.

If you’re wondering how clean your recyclables should be, you shouldn’t worry too much. Food and liquid contaminants aren’t much of an issue for plastic, metal, and glass recyclables. However, it’s recommended to quickly rinse these recyclables with water to eliminate any food or liquid waste. You should also ensure that your recycling bins are always clean to prevent any contamination from happening in the bins.

When Recycling Stick To Paper, Glass, Plastics, Metal Cans, And Cardboards

Confusion about what to recycle is a barrier to recycling. Currently, there is no standardized labeling indicating what can or can’t be recycled. Another reason contributing to this confusion is that many commonly used items are exempted from recycling. Therefore, keep it simple if you don’t know what you should or shouldn’t recycle. Always ensure that paper, glass, metal cans, cardboard, and plastics are in your recycling bin.

You should also stop wishcycling. Wishcycling happens when you place a non-recyclable hoping that it’s recyclable. If you’re not sure whether an object is recyclable, you’re better off not placing it in your recycling bin. In addition, most cities have set up thresholds for how much non-recyclables should be in your recyclables load. So, if you add a lot of trash to your load and exceed these thresholds, your load will end up in the landfill.

It isn’t easy to know everything about recycling. However, when dealing with an essential subject like recycling, you should take the initiative to learn more about the dos and don’ts of recycling. The above rules will improve the efficiency of your recycling habits. However, you can do more to help improve how you recycle and protect the environment better. So, if you have any further questions about recycling, call us now, and we’ll gladly answer them.

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