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One of the Best Things You Can Do to Help Recycling? Throw Things in the Trash!

Green Lifestyle  (tags: business, CO2emissions, conservation, CoolStuff, coolstuff, eco-friendly, ecosystems, energy, environment, family, food, garden, globalwarming, green, greenliving, home, humans, interesting, recycling, society, Sustainabililty, sustainable )

- 3172 days ago -
As surprising as it may seem, sometimes the best thing you can do to help recycling is to toss or reuse rather than recycle. What doesn't belong can ruin what's there, making it all get tossed! Read on...


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Anne F (17)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 11:02 am
Be alert to different rules -- when we travel, we have to read the signs everywhere.

Josh T (34)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 12:14 pm
Very good advice!

Sylvie M (46)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 5:47 pm
It seems the recycling rules differ from one country to another, and here, in France, the processes are different from one city to another : in Paris, we may put magazines, cardboards including "tetrapackings", and all sorts of plastics in the same collector, but in the suburbian town where my parents live, carboard & papers must be separated from plastic.
About glass, it's pretty obvious to me (always the plain old common sense!!!) that broken lightbulbs cannot be recycled, and that some broken plates are PORCELAIN, not GLASS (I saw a whole PILE of old plates and dishes in the glass container of my own buidling just a few weeks ago... are some people THAT stupid?)

Melissah C (389)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 7:04 pm

Sue L (73)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 9:59 pm
Many people still do not care about recycling. In my building all we have to do is sort recyclables into 2 categories. Put paper and cardboard in one bin and cans, bottles and plastic in the other. Yet it is usually all mixed together and sometimes there is even trash thrown in such as pizza boxes. I often wonder if any of this is being recycled at all or just dumped in a landfill because people can't follow simple directions. How frustrating!

Patricia N (9)
Thursday November 11, 2010, 11:15 pm
It is amazing that people do not read the rules of their recycling area. However, in my hometown they took everything, it was then put on a long conveyer belt and people would sort it and throw out anything that couldn't be recycled.

Sumit jamadar (9)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:28 am

Bon L (0)
Friday November 12, 2010, 4:38 am
Thanks for the info.

Claire G. (0)
Friday November 12, 2010, 7:36 am
I think we should send the criminals to the recycling plants to do our dirty work and sort out what should be recycled and what shouldn't. But untill then this info was really helpfull, i can show it to my other half who chucks it all in the same pile

Gary C (5)
Friday November 12, 2010, 9:08 am
noted thankyou....

Paul S (11)
Friday November 12, 2010, 11:27 am
@Sylvie, great to hear that Tetrapak gets recycled there. It's quite difficult apparently, as it's multilayered

Kathy B (106)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:24 pm
Sorry, but I consider this article to be irresponsible. Recycling differs from place to place.

1st, people should learn the rules for recycling in their area and adhere to those rules.

2nd, it says in the article that milk cartons aren't recyclable. They are in my area.

We also have voluntary yard/home recycling in my area - that is where the greasy pizza boxes go.

Paul S (11)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:33 pm
Agreed, in some specific areas they have collection of what is not typically elsewhere. Kudos, great to hear that's happening where you are! But for most, a small range of things are collected, but people toss in far more than is useable, making a majority/all of it unusable.

So absolutely, people should make themselves aware of the rules of recycling in their area, and for what's not commonly accepted, ask or look up alternative paths to recycling/reuse/composting.

Katherine L (7)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:43 pm
and not to forget shopping at second hand stores too. I've found many a treasure in the thrift stores: work clothes, play clothes, books and kitchen and bath items.

donald Baumgartner (6)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:50 pm
Very intresting!!

Elizabeth M (65)
Friday November 12, 2010, 12:59 pm
WE have a good recycling program in our small town. I have blue bags (recycleable of course) to put newspapers..advertising...lids from containers, cleaned cans with lids and labels taken off, and plastic containers cleaned that cannot go to the recycle shops & clean jars are set out seperately. From May to October we have all yard waste...grass, branches, leaves etc for composting. We are charged a fee on bottled water (which I never use), pop, beer or juice cans, colored bottles, tetra packs etc., and when you take them in to recycle shops, you get your money back. Also stations are set up to collect all old electric products.. Computers, TV's, cell phones etc. and most of these items have parts that can be used again. We also pay a fee for tires when we buy new ones and the old ones are recycled, to make ashphalt curb side mats, rubber mats etc. I have a pair of clogs with treads made from rubber tires!

. (0)
Friday November 12, 2010, 2:17 pm
Yes, people do not realize pizza boxes, that have grease on them are not paper recyclable. What I would love to see is the elimination of the plastic trays supermarkets use to to sell meat and chicken on.Fast food chains eliminated these years ago.

Bonnie B (103)
Friday November 12, 2010, 2:18 pm
Thanks, Paul, that cleared up some questions I had.

Andrea Connelly (94)
Friday November 12, 2010, 2:34 pm
The range of recycling practices all over the world is mind boggling. From nothing to everything, all goes, depending where we live. In Montreal we no longer separate plastic from paper, metal, glass. etc. It is supposedly done at the Center for Recycling, where their staff sorts items according to type of materials.
In Mexico, at least in Monterrey, all glass, beer, wine bottles etc. get thrown in the garbage. (and there are plenty.) In England, we found very limited services for recycling, again, depending where one lives.
Germany seems to have a great system of recycling, where containers are brought to the end of streets for collection, instead of going house to house which is a much more labor and money consuming method.
Would love to see a more uniform method of recycling all over the world, but there are obviously more pressing issues, especially in the less developed nations. The rest of us, however, should make a better effort.

Catherine Turley (192)
Friday November 12, 2010, 5:28 pm
here's what i don't get... it says no broken glass, but when the truck dumps the can, you can hear everything breaking. what's the difference? and, it's impossible to get every grease smudge off of a jar, so does that make all my jars trash?

Paul S (11)
Friday November 12, 2010, 5:37 pm
@Catherine: Good question!

To be totally clear, I meant as in broken windows, car glass, drinking glasses, etc. Glass that's not meant (within typically recycling infrastructure) to be recycled. Your local area might very well accept those, either right in the bin or separately. Ask. The issue is, when glass of different types gets mixed together when being processed to recycled into new material, it can cause the resulting glass to be weaker, breaking. Make sense?

Mary Donnelly (47)
Friday November 12, 2010, 6:44 pm
Thanks Paul.

Joy M (168)
Friday November 12, 2010, 6:48 pm
Where I come from all our tins and glass are used for land fill, very didappointing to learn of i have always recycled, I think we all need to take a part in our world and recycle all we can for our children/grandchildrens future.

Teresa K (33)
Friday November 12, 2010, 7:35 pm
Noted and thanks.

Christine Stewart (134)
Friday November 12, 2010, 10:28 pm
Does this mean I don't need to feel guilty if i would rather trash my empty peanut butter container rather than trying to wash it out?!

Saturday November 13, 2010, 12:08 am
Chistine.... I know JUST what you mean about those pesky peanut butter jars! I have wasted HOURS trying to get the darned things clean! Thanks Paul for this. I learned a few things that I didn't know. Here in Oz, we have numbers on the bottom of plastic bottles etc. and you can only recycle certain numbers. Many of us live too far out form a town to have our recycled goods and our garbage picked up and so we have to travel miles to a transfer atation to get rid of it. There is always someone to supervise and each type of recyclable material, has to be placed in different skips and containers and woe betide you if you make a blunder!' He that must be obeyed' materializes in a trice, from his portacabin where he has been spying on you from a tiny window in the side of the shed! He has lots of tattoos and has a very' growl'y, sort of expression and WOULD be quite scary, if he didn't usually have a little tabby cat happily sitting on his shoulder which softens the effect a little! There is one area for empty cans and there are piles of empty cat food cans and as you can imagine, there are many stray cats that come to the tip. We have a wonderful cat rescue lady, who comes to catch and sterilize and find home for them if you report them to her. I have had a few cats from the tip myself and they have been such wonderful pets. Sorry!... this is meant to be about recycling not stray cats, I got side-tacked! Thanks Paul!

Ruth R (246)
Saturday November 13, 2010, 3:35 am

Linda Wallace (32)
Saturday November 13, 2010, 6:51 am
Thank you for the reminder to learn the rules.

Nuno Correia (18)
Saturday November 13, 2010, 4:12 pm

ANGIE cr (4)
Sunday November 14, 2010, 12:51 pm
the page you send us to is extraordinary!!!! thanX!

Paul S (11)
Monday November 15, 2010, 10:55 am
@ Christine no!!! :) Recyclers can clean things like peanut butter jars, just get the main bits out. It's when food is embedded in the material (ie pizza boxes) or it's the wrong kind of glass (basically anything that's used for other than containing food) that there's an issue. Otherwise, carry on! :)

Jennifer M (78)
Monday November 15, 2010, 11:52 am

jane richmond (10)
Monday November 22, 2010, 1:17 pm
Hate litterers!
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