3 Simple Recycling Tips
We get it, trying to figure out what steps to take to become more planet-friendly can feel super overwhelming. The good news is even a few small steps, like basic recycling, can make a huge impact. Previously we shared some background on what types of materials and plastics can easily be recycled, and that’s critical to understand because a lot of times even though things can be recycled, unfortunately they rarely are.
Check this out: Only 5% to 6% of the 46 million tons of plastic waste generated annually in the U.S. gets recycled.
So, figuring out how to properly recycle is super important, and it’s not as simple as just throwing stuff in the bin. You know we’ve got you covered though, here are a few simple, low-effort tips to get you started on the right recycling path.
Tip 1: Do Research and Check Locally
Recycling programs and what’s accepted in your area can vary for each community, and local regulations can be vastly different. So, finding the easiest, most-efficient ways to start recycling where you live starts with a bit of research. You can fire up the ol’ Google machine of course, or you can start by visiting Earth911 to find local recycling centers.
Tip 2: Opt For Store Drop Off
Plastic plastic bags, wraps, and films usually can’t be recycled in your curbside recycling bins. Instead, you can take some of these items to your local retail stores and other locations to ensure that they get properly recycled.
Tip 3: Don’t be a Wishcycler
Wishcycling is a term that’s used these days to describe when people put non-recyclable items in the recycling bin with hope that they will be recycled. Sure, it might seem obvious but if you’re not sure it can be recycled, throw it in the trash. Wishcycling can be harmful because it contaminates the recycling stream with material that is not actually recyclable. This has large-scale consequences because it not only makes the sorting process more costly because it requires extra labor, but it also damages sorting systems and equipment. Plus, even a single non-recyclable item can render a large batch of otherwise recyclable waste contaminated and contribute to additional waste. Short and sweet: when in doubt, throw it out! Here’s a handy article with a bit more information on wishcyling.
Hopefully these quick and easy tips have taken a little bit of the mystery out of how to recycle. The more little steps we all take the bigger the positive impact we’ll have on decreasing our waste and helping the planet!