Recycling has become a very big part of our daily lives. However, studies show that most people don’t know that there are many household items that cannot be recycled. Understanding what items can and cannot be recycled helps us to make better purchasing choices in the future, and can help us to understand the benefits of re-purposing and re-using such items to keep them out of our landfills.
#1 – Styrofoam: Avoid using Styrofoam products whenever possible including cups, disposable plates and packing materials. These items are notoriously bad for the landfills and for our environment.
#2 – Plastic Hangers: A blend of different plastic types are used to create plastic hangers, making them difficult to break down in the recycling process.
#3 – Plastic Film: Grocery bags and bubble wrap, plastic film is recyclable just not at our facility. Special equipment is needed to help sort this material.
#4 – Mirrors: Most people aren’t aware that mirrors contain chemicals that cannot be mixed with regular glass during recycling.
#5 – Food-Contaminated Containers: This includes pizza boxes, carry-out food containers – anything that has come in contact with food. The grease and oil that are found in these foods can contaminate the entire recycling process. If it cant be rinsed out, its trash.
#6 – Shower Curtains and Curtain Liners: Because shower curtains are made using a PVC-base product, shower curtains cannot be broken down and used again in the recycling process.
#7 – Ceramic: When ceramics are recycled with glass they produce an unsellable, unusable product. Ceramic products don’t melt down like other similar materials.
#8 – Disposable Diaper: Used disposable diaper, and pretty much any material that comes in contact with a biological fluid* is not recyclable. Pet soiled materials are also not acceptable.
Additionally, hazardous materials such as pesticides, light bulbs, batteries*, and paint cans cannot be recycled. Also plastic containers that previously held a hazardous chemical cannot be recycled with us. When you purchase new items it is important to think about what you will do with them when you no longer need them. Can the item be recycled? Will it sit in a landfill for hundreds of years? Can you donate the item to someone else who can use it? It is important to always purchase recyclable, eco-friendly items whenever possible.
Thanks to our members we have been able to recover over 35 tons of paper and cardboard this year so far! With only a single worker and a pick em up truck we have collected, hauled and baled the materials. Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution! Those 17 trees saved can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide. Our year to date paper and cardboard recovery has reduced Co2 by OVER 9000! lbs. GREAT JOB RECYCLING MEMBERS! However we can improve those numbers with an increase in membership. Tell your friends and especially your neighbours about us! Lets double those numbers!
- The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
- The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
- Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
- Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
- The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.