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What You Should--And Shouldn't--Always Recycle


Some natural resources, like minerals, are consumed despite the imminent danger of being completely depleted. Other materials cost a lot in terms of labor, energy, and raw materials to produce. Recycling can be an enormous help when it comes to limiting scarcity, saving energy, and protecting the environment. Unfortunately, not everything can be recycled—some materials need special handling or should simply be properly disposed of via mainstream methods

Always Recycle


Aluminum costs a lot of energy to produce from ore, and recycling is a great way to save energy and reduce dependence on environmentally-damaging mining. Aluminum can be recycled virtually endlessly, and can go from being in a recycling bin to a store's shelf in as little as two months.


Electronics use rare metals in their manufacture, including gold. Not only are they pricey and in high demand, they're also usually obtained by mining. Recycling electronics and old CDs, DVDs, and Video games with services like www.decluttr.com helps keep them out of landfills while reducing the environmental impact of their production.


Paper can be recycled, with a few caveats. Many facilities won't take waxed cardboard, magazines, or paper that's been exposed to water. Regular, matte, untreated paper should be recycled to help reduce deforestation.


Glass, like aluminum, can be recycled perpetually. However, glass that is contaminated with food, ceramic materials, borosilicate glass (Pyrex), mirrors, and crystal, among other types, should not be placed in a recycling bin.

Don’t Always Recycle

Aerosol Cans, Batteries & Lightbulbs

Even though their outsides may be made of materials that should be recycled, their contents are what causes a problem-- they are often considered hazardous material, and shouldn't go into a recycling bin. Some facilities may take these items, while others may not. Contact yours to see what their regulations are.

Some Plastics

While many plastics can and should be recycled, not all of them fall under that category. If a plastic container is not coded for recycling, it shouldn't be put into a recycling bin. This includes caps-- even if a container is recyclable, the cap may not be.

In many cases, items that can't be placed in a curbside bin can still be recycled. Contact your local recycling plant to see if they'll accept your items, and to get any special handling or disposal instructions to make sure your waste is treated as safely, cleanly, and sustainably as possible.


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