Recycling – Are You Doing It Right?


With increased awareness for global warming and environment pollution, more and more people are turning towards recycling, taking a step forward for saving our beloved planet. However, if we look closely, how many of us are really making the right contribution and how many of us think that we are doing the right thing but are actually making the process difficult than it actually should be?

While it’s true that recycling technology has been vastly improved and we can recycle more products and much better than ever, however, the further the technology has advanced, the difficult it has become for the general masses to recognize precisely what, what not and how can it be recycled; major reason being the very minor differentiating degrees between similar materials. For instance, plastics are recyclable, but only those that are labeled from 1 to 5, higher grades of plastic (up to 12) are recyclable but are harder to process and are accepted only by a few selected recycling companies.

Similarly, although plastic is recyclable, recycling companies want you to understand that unless your community or recycling company has an all-in-one bin policy, it is best to segregate your recyclables into categories. Putting all or segregated recyclables in a plastic bag only slows down the process as,

a) Plastic bags are made of soft plastics and are non-recyclable.

b) The segregation process will take up more time if the recycling company has to sort through all of the collected material separately.

c) The plastic bags might wrap around and jam the recycling equipments.

d) The plastic bags might blow off the landfills and pollute the waterways, ocean, sea or composting and fertile lands.

e) Plastics made of Styrofoam are a petroleum product, flammable and thus, hard to break down.

There are several other examples that can help clear the air for you as to what you can and cannot put in the recycle bin regardless of their similarity;

1. You can recycle plastic bottles but not plastic lids from bottles and jars, neither can you recycle polystyrene from packaging, plastics bags, toys or other kind of soft plastics.

2. You can recycle clear and colored glass including drinking bottles, cosmetic jars, food containers and vitamin bottles but not ceramic, mirrors, light bulbs, window glass, drinking glass, oven-proof glass or crockery.

3. You can recycle paper including newspaper, catalogues, brochures, magazines, junk mail and shredded paper (if put inside a box) but not paper towels, paper plates, napkins,, carbon paper, facial tissues or bathroom tissues.

4. You can recycle cardboards including pizza box, cartons of milk, and tetrapacks, only if dry and free of food scraps or other remnants.

5. You can recycle metal cans, tins and lids including condensed milk can, sardine, aluminum cans, steel cans, aerosol cans and paint tins as long as they are rinsed, dried and free of any kind of remnants or contaminants.

The information might seem overwhelming but isn’t it better to do something right instead of doing it just for the sake of doing it?

For more information on recycling and how you can benefit from it, visit


Source by Rajesh Gupta

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