Most of us play our part when it comes to recycling. However, recycling can sometimes be a little tricky and mistakes do occur frequently. A City TV news reporter stopped people on the streets of Toronto and asked them what recycling bin a certain item should be put into and almost every person gave a wrong answer! Though people in general like the idea of recycling, there does appear to be some confusion. Let's take a closer look at what NOT to do when it comes to recycling.
1. Plastic Bags
Plastic bags can be recycled, but it has to be done separately. Try not to put plastic bags into the main recycling bins. Many people still think that plastic bags cannot be recycled but this is not true. It's just that they need to be kept separate from other recyclable material and its collection is different. Many people are in the habit of bagging their recyclables and just placing it in the bin along with the plastic bag. These bags can cause a major problem with machines at the plant. Time and money is then required to unclog machines. Some grocery stores have a place to recycle clean plastic bags. Next time you go to your grocery store, be sure to ask so that you can recycle it properly.
2. Food Scraps And Pizza Boxes
Food scraps like eggshells, banana skin, potato peelings, leftovers and apple cores do not go in your blue bin. All organic material should be placed in the green bins. The problem with these organic materials such as food scraps tend to be wet or moist. This water easily soaks paper and other good, reusable items, causing these materials to be ruined. Good material and resources that could otherwise have been used is now wasted.
Pizza boxes will contain bits of cheese and food stuck to it. It will also contain grease. Though it's true that pizza boxes can be recycled, it also poses a slight problem due to the grease. This will contaminate the other materials during the recycling process. If you find it really bad, it's best to just place it in the garbage. However, before you do that, you can check to see if some of the box can be safely recycled. You can tear it for recycling and trash the greasy, unusable portion.
3. Electrical Cords, VHS Tapes
Things such as electrical cords, hoses or old VHS tapes can cause a major problem with the sorting machines at the recycling plant. Not only can they damage machines, they could cause an injury to workers. The best and safest thing to do would be to place these in the garbage. Before you do, you might want to contact an electronics store and ask for their advice. Sometimes, they will have a recycling program for things like tapes and cords and you can give it to them to dispose of safely.
4. Toxic Containers
Any container that contained poisonous material should not be recycled. Instead, toss it in the garbage. Things like pesticide and antifreeze or even cans of paint - don't recycle these. Before you toss them out though, call your local recycling plant and ask for advice. There may be a specific set of rules for the disposal of hazardous materials.
Never put trash in the recycling bin. There are people who do! One bag of trash can ruin a whole load. While everyone works to be responsible and separates items, it takes one irresponsible person to place trash in the recycling bin and the whole thing can be wasted at the recycling facility.
When you're unsure, always call your local plant to ask advice. It can save a lot of hassle, damage, waste of resources and possibly even injury.