The kitchen trash bin is the first to overflow in any household or restaurant. As kitchens are always bustling with activity, you need to keep an eye on the trash. One way to manage the trash overflow is to keep separate kitchen recycling bins. Sorting the recyclables and general waste helps you control the waste you dispose of. But, there is one main issue with recycling bins.
Few people know what can and can’t go into the recycling containers. It is common for people to confuse which item goes into these bins. Should I recycle the waffle box? Is the egg carton recyclable? All this confusion occurs despite the labels on the items. Did you know that improper recycling can have a negative impact on waste management? Although it is good that you want to recycle, you should know how to do it right. Here are a few tips to help you put the right items in the recycle bin.
What Are The 10 Most Important Items To Recycle?
There are plenty of recyclable items that end up in landfills every year. Having a recycle bin and not putting the right items in it is a big crime. Here are 10 important items that are recyclable:
Paper is easy to recycle. But, only a few people know the right way to recycle it. Below you can find a few recyclable paper items:
- All types of writing paper, notebooks, folders, and more
- Newspaper is another easy material that can save plenty of energy
- Mails, envelopes, greeting cards, and postcards
- Magazines with glossy paper and catalogs of any color
- Books with soft or hardcover, business cards, and wrapping paper
2. Paper Boxes
Paper boxes include thick and thin cardboard types. By recycling cardboard, you can save plenty of landfill space. To reduce the space that cardboard boxes take in your recycle bin, flatten them. Whenever you throw away used boxes containing any residue, make sure you remove them all.
Some of the boxes you can recycle include:
- Boxes that contain over-the-counter medicine, perfume, or cosmetics
- Boxes containing food items like candy, bakery goods, takeout, and more
- Paper shopping bags you get from restaurants, retail stores, and grocery stores
- Milk and juice cartons and pizza boxes also go in the recycle bin
3. Drink Bottles Made Of Plastic
Water, juice, and soda bottles have polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A large quantity of such bottles gets thrown away in landfills. A few ways to recycle plastic bottles are:
- Rinse the bottles to remove food or liquid residue before you throw them in your kitchen recycle bin. This will make it easy for the recycling facility to process the item.
- Remove the bottle lids as these are not recyclable. You must flatten the plastic bottles so that they don’t take up a lot of space.
- Check the plastic resin code on the bottle. You can find it on the bottom part, revealing chasing arrows surrounding a number.
- Most recycling centers accept only a particular type of plastic. Know the types that your local collection center accepts.
- When you buy the juice or water bottles, make sure they are recyclable. Always try to buy items that have a specific number that is recyclable.
4. Plastic Product Bottles
Bottles that contain detergent, shampoo, or other such items have thicker plastic. The material is easy to recycle.
Recycling facilities accept plastic bottles with necks, such as detergent and shampoo bottles. Most of these items will have the #1 or #2 resin code, which makes them recyclable.
Before you dump them in the recycle bin, make sure they are clean and free of the product. Also, remove the plastic caps before you recycle them.
Besides recycling the bottles, you can reduce their use. For example, you can buy the products in large quantities. You can save money and also the number of bottles you throw away.
Plus, you can even find alternative uses for them. You can turn the bottles into flower vases or any other form in and around your home.
5. Aluminum Can
Aluminum cans are recyclable and you can help save the use of the fresh material by recycling. Here are a few tips:
- Rinse the cans before dumping them into the recycle bin. Any food residue can attract pests and germs. Dry the can after emptying it.
- Crush the can to save more space in the bin. You will be able to add more cans to the bin and get more money for recycling them.
6. Steel Cans
You will find that many canned items such as soups, vegetables, and more use steel cans. The good thing about these cans is you can recycle them. Here are a few tips:
- As you do with other food products, make sure you rinse the cans before recycling them.
- Don’t remove the paper labels on the cans as the paper is of low quality and does not affect the recycling process.
- Remove the lid, which is also steel, and insert it into the can. Pinch the can top to close it. This will prevent rodents or other pests from entering the can.
- Steel cans have a high recycling rate of over 88 percent. It is possible to turn the cans into any type of steel product. Since the material does not have an unlimited supply, it is very important to recycle it.
Glass containers found in the packaging of food products and beverages are recyclable. You can recycle them and save about 95% of the raw materials you need for making new glass packaging. Here are some tips for recycling glass:
- Do not combine glass containers with the glass found in mirrors and windows. The glasses in windows and mirrors have a different melting point. So, you should avoid mixing the two during recycling.
- Some collection centers need you to sort the containers by color. As glass is recyclable many times, it is necessary to keep its original color.
- Remove any food residue in the container before recycling. This will ensure there is no contamination during the recycling process.
Corks are biodegradable and renewable items. You can recycle the cork to make new corks. Learn more about cork recycling from your local collection center.
Corks are of two types, natural and synthetic. The synthetic type is made of plastic so you need to throw it in the general kitchen waste bin.
Natural cork is made from tree bark and is biodegradable. If your collection center does not accept the corks, you can use them in plenty of craft projects.
You can repurpose corks into any type of home décor item. Items like bath mats, lampshades, and plant labels can be created with corks.
You can recycle all household batteries. The batteries in your electronic items like phones and remote-control systems are recyclable. You can also recycle button batteries like those found in watches.
While buying, give preference to rechargeable batteries. Try powering battery-operated devices with electricity as much as possible.
Make sure you recycle the batteries within six months of discarding them. Bag or tape them before you dump them in the recycle bin.
Do not throw batteries in the bin with other recyclable items like plastic, glass, or paper. You can create a fire hazard risk by doing so.
10. Plastic bags
Most of the plastic bags in use now are of #2 plastic. But, you can find thinner plastic materials made from #4 plastic also. Here are a few tips on recycling them:
- Remove all items in the bags like food crumbs, receipts, and others. Such items can contaminate the bags.
- Make sure the bags are of #2 or #4 plastic-type before you recycle them. If you are not sure, you can reuse the bag and throw it in the general kitchen trash bin.
- Since plastic bags are not biodegradable, they take up a huge chunk of landfill space. To avoid this, you need to manage their disposal properly.
By now, you would be aware of the items that go into your kitchen recycling bins. With this knowledge, you can recycle more items. Another way to ensure you recycle right is to use separate bins for recycling items. With separate recycling and trash bins, you will find it easy to recycle many of the items you dispose of.
There are recycle bins that have several slots for different items. The Busch Systems Spectrum recycling receptacle is one such product. It comes with two waste streams, for general trash and recyclable materials. For more such quality recycling and kitchen trash bins, visit Trash Cans Depot.