Recycling is probably the best solution to reducing the incredible amounts of waste that our society sends to landfills. After a maximum of one year of throwing away different components of your trash separately, you develop kind of a habit, and you might even feel guilty if you put that candy wrapper in the wrong bin by mistake (I can even hear disapproving sighs already).
However, there are some very common mistakes that people make when it comes to recycling, especially if they are new and not yet entirely aware of what is right and what is wrong. So, here are five top things that people tend to assume or overlook.
1. Is it recyclable or not?
Of course, very important question, but the problem is, often people assume that the item is not recyclable, when actually it is perfectly suitable for the purpose. Among the things that might surprise you are aluminium foil, corks, old CDs, even furniture. Your local recycling company, the one that has provided you with the colorful containers, most probably has a huge list with items that can be recycled, so it might be worth to have a look at their website.
2. How about those plastic bottle caps?
Yes, it is true, some years ago, plastic bottle caps had to be thrown away separately and could not be recycled. However, this has changed now. Let’s say not all but most of the recycling facilities around, as of 2012, accept plastic bottles with caps. Do check with the local recycling company, but there are not many places, where the caps will not be accepted.
3. The ‘cardboard’ dilemma.
It is extremely important to know how to recycle paper correctly, not only because it makes up a huge percentage of the total waste, but also because even a tiny bit of coiled paper and cardboard can make an entire batch of paper at a recycling facility no longer reusable. The most essential thing you should remember is to throw away for recycling only the clean bits of that pizza box, and you’ll be safe.
4. Plastic Bags.
These do not need any introduction. We have told you on numerous occasions about all bad sides of using plastic bags, but I guess if you have happened to used them, the only thing worst would be not to reuse them and recycle them. Do bring them to the shop at least a few times before you dispose of them, and when you eventually do have to throw them, put them away with all the rest of the plastics. Needless to say, not using them all together would be the best. Just get a handy reusable bag made of fabric, and you will eliminate the entire worry all together.
5. Reuse before recycle.
Yes, you should feel great when you recycle waste, but recycling, although extremely necessary, does not mean that no energy is consumed and no harm is done to the environment. There are so many things you can do with various items that you no longer find a purpose for- maybe do not go to the extreme of building a whole house out of them, but bowls, tiles, these are only a few of the things you can make out of unneeded products. Check out here the rest of the suggestions The Green Optimistic has for you.
Image (c) Reuters