Tomorrow, November 15, is America Recycles Day – a day to recognize the impact recycling can have and refresh your knowledge of what you can recycle.
When it comes to recycling, it’s easy to get confused by the details. But you can have a big impact by focusing on the basics.
5 recycling tips
Here are 5 tips you can share about what you should always recycle, how to recycle correctly, and why it matters.
- Paper: Surprisingly, there’s a lot of room for improvement with paper recycling. Always recycle mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and school and office papers. Include window envelopes and glossy paper, but remove any plastic inserts.
- Boxes: Boxes have become an increasingly large part of our recycling stream. Always recycle delivery boxes, cardboard boxes, cereal and cracker boxes, and boxes from toiletries. Take everything out, and collapse boxes before recycling.
- Plastics: Plastics are the most confusing category and generate the most questions. Focus on recycling plastic bottle and jugs; containers for things like yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine, and produce; and clear cups. Empty and rinse before recycling, and leave plastic caps on.
- Resin codes: People often ask about the number on plastic items. Despite appearances, this number tells you the type of plastic the item is but not if it recyclable. As a general rule of thumb, stick to recycling plastic bottles, jugs, cups, and containers that have a resin code number 1, 2, or 5. Don’t recycle plastics 3, 4, 6, or 7.
- Metal: Metal is one of the most valuable recyclable items because metal recycling is fast and efficient. The recycling rate for metal cans could be higher, so make it a habit to always recycle metal cans no matter where you are.
Recycling is important – it saves energy, conserves natural resources, and supports our local and regional economy – so keep it up and use our tips to enhance what you are already doing at home.
Get answers to your recycling questions
If you’re not sure if something is recyclable, find out! We’re here to answer all of your recycling questions – reach out on social media (Hennepin Environment on Facebook and @hennepinenviro on Twitter) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.