5 Environmentally Friendly Recycling Best Practices


Recycling is an easy process that is efficient in improving the health of the environment overall. Yet many people refuse to do so or do it incorrectly. Here are 5 tips to follow when recycling and being aware of them will ensure it is done efficiently and correctly.

1. Know what can be recycled

The reason most people that do not recycle choose not to is the fact they simply do not know what is eligible to be recycled. By knowing all of the materials that can be recycled and which ones cannot be, you can complete processes with ease and do your part to help the environment.

When it comes to recycling there are four basic streams. Paper and cardboard includes items such as books, flyers, newspaper, and pizza boxes. Fibres that contain wax are usually not accepted. Plastics that are accepted include bottles, packaging, and plastic bags. Aluminum includes cans and other liquid containers. Glass can be anything made out of this material but make sure it is not broken because if shards are mixed with others it becomes contaminated and cannot be reused.

2. Sort

While recycling is often sorted at facilities that materials are sent to, many jurisdictions want the ones you place on your curb for pickup to be sorted. Some companies will not accept the materials if they are not. This is because they have a lot to pick up through the course of a day and mixing materials can lead to contamination.

Before putting your recycling out for pickup, be sure to sort it first. While individual bins for each material is an ideal arrangement, it is not required. Some materials can be mixed with each other. For example, paper can be mixed with cardboard and plastic containers can be mixed with glass and/or aluminum ones.

3. Clean out containers

Containers with remnants of its contents in them can attract ants, bees, and rodents, making the process of picking up materials difficult for recycling companies. Containers with things still in them can also spill out during the sorting and processing stages. This leads to the contamination of materials to a point where they cannot be reused.

Before sorting and putting out your recycling, clean each container to ensure nothing remains in them. This will allow you to avoid attracting critters and contaminating other materials. The rinsing process does not need to be onerous. Something as little as washing the containers with some warm water will do the trick.

4. Buy recyclable materials

The whole idea behind recycling is reducing your carbon footprint and doing your part in helping the environment by cutting down on materials being manufactured. While many materials are indeed eligible to be recycled, it helps to buy items and packaging made from recycled materials to begin with.

Before buying items, ensure they are made from recycled material and that the packaging enclosing them is as well. When you do so, you are ensuring that they can be recycled and eventually reused for other purposes. Typically when you buy these things some of the money spent goes towards green initiatives, allowing companies to continue their processes and projects that play a role in helping the environment,

5. Make it easy

As stated previously, a main reason why people make the conscious choice not to recycle is because they are intimidated by the process and are unsure of the materials that are eligible. They are also unaware of the locations where recyclable materials can be disposed of.

To make recycling processes easier, education is key. As mentioned, people need to know of the different streams of recyclable materials. At home, ensure each family member knows what materials can be recycled. As a business owner, you can do the same for all of your staff. Place bins at strategic locations around the home or office, making it easy for people to dispose of their recyclable materials. Also ensure people know where to take the bins when they become full.