Recycling is one of the absolute best ways to do your part to not only help the environment, but to make sure that we leave the planet in the best possible condition for future generations. When doing so, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. offers a few tips to avoid falling victim to common recycling mistakes.
To Recycle, or Not to Recycle
One of the most popular mistakes involves thinking that something isn’t recyclable. Just because a particular item might not be eligible for curbside pick up in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that you should throw it out with the regular garbage.
If a particular type of item isn’t a part of your community’s recycling program, there are still other ways to get the items recycled. Look for community cleanup days that may open you up to a larger variety of options, or use the Internet to find drop sites in your area where a larger variety of recyclable materials are collected.
Bag the Plastic
Many people don’t realize just what a poor decision it is to use plastic shopping bags, especially when it comes to recycling. Most recycling centers cannot take plastic shopping bags because they will jam sorting machines. More importantly, the bags aren’t biodegradable, which means they will spend a lifetime in our overflowing landfills or wind up polluting our forests, parks, rivers or more.
All is not lost, however. Many grocery stores have drop off bins where you can bring all of your unwanted plastic bags for proper disposal. The best eco-friendly option, invest in reusable shopping bags!
Another common mistake that people make involves recycling dirty materials. If you’re going to recycle that used peanut butter or pasta sauce jar, for example, clean it first. You should recycle glass jars, metal cans, milk jugs and other items only after you’ve rinsed them out – not before.
Not recycling electronics is also a big mistake people make. Cell phones, computers, batteries, ink cartridges and more can all be recycled for future use. CFLs and other types of light bulbs should also be treated the same way.