It is probably safe to say that almost every citizen is interested in saving our planet in one way or another – recycling being one way. According to Townships Today newsletter “On January 1, in an anti-pollution crackdown, China implemented a ban on certain recyclables from other countries, most notably mixed paper (such as junk mail) and mixed plastic (those labeled #1-7), and enacted stricter rules about the level of contamination it would accept on other materials.” With the changing recycling market, we, as responsible citizens, must change to accommodate the current recycling climate.

The emphasis on recycling must be to recycle quality and marketable items. Just because it is “paper” or “plastic” does not mean it is necessarily recyclable. “Wishful recycling” has become devastatingly costly. Separating trash from recyclables costs money for local governments or trash haulers which eventually costs us, the taxpayers. The second emphasis must be on CLEAN RECYCLABLES. The former attitude of some recyclers must change from recycle EVERYTHING (clean or dirty) to recycle CORRECTLY. It’s all about marketability.

Below is a partial list and some guidelines for recycling responsibly. Reminder: Every item must be CLEAN.

CORREGATED CARDBOARD (ridges between the top and bottom): Flattened. No pizza boxes with grease stains.
NEWSPAPERS, TELEPHONE BOOKS, MAIL, ENVELOPES (OK with windows): No Tyvek envelopes (if it can’t be ripped it cannot be recycled), Fed-Ex type envelopes OK but not with bubble padding, No computer ream paper wrappers.
ALUMINUM CANS, FOIL, PIE TINS – Clean: Pull Tabs leave on. The Tabs alone have almost no value.
STEEL CANS (paper labels OK but Clean): Lids OK
GLASS (Clear and colored but Clean): Remove Lids.
PLASTICS (#1-7): Not all plastics labeled 1-7 are OK. Plastic bottles with narrow  necks are OK. Plastic tubs for yogurt, butter, etc. are less quality plastic but OK to recycle. Remove ALL Lids.
LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT & SHAMPOO BOTTLES: Clean, without caps and pumps removed.
PLASTIC BAGS (grocery, bread wrappers, product wrappers, sandwich bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, case overwrap, produce bags, food storage bags, ice bags, salt bags, packaging air pillows (deflated): All Clean and Dry. Return to grocery store recycling bin.

Items commonly thought recyclable but in fact are TRASH:
Plastic drinking cups, shredded paper (it will fly away and make a mess), bubble wrap (except where specifically designated as recyclable), STYROFOAM, window glass, hard backed books, pet food bags, pizza boxes with grease stains, packing tape that holds boxes together (did not know this), etc.

Use this as a mantra: IF IN DOUBT – THROW IT OUT! 

Thank you for Recycling Properly!!