Common Items You Might Think are Recyclable that Aren’t

Today more than ever, there is a big push to go green and protect the environment. However, many people try to recycle items that actually aren’t recyclable. This makes more work for the people designated to separate out these items during processing.

Here’s a quick video on the subject:

Double-check for these un-recyclables before you set out the recycling bin:

Pizza Boxes

When you order pizza for the game or a quick dinner in, you probably throw the box out to recycle with all your other cardboard products. Think twice next time. Due to the grease that is transferred onto these boxes, they actually cannot be recycled.  They are too contaminated to be made back into clean paper.

Napkins and Paper Towels

It seems like all paper products can be processed back into paper, but when it comes to napkins and paper towels, this isn’t true. Because these are often used to wipe up things that are considered “hazardous” and come into contact with some messy substances, they too cannot be recycled.

Plastic Caps

Another common item that can’t be recycled is plastic caps. While your curbside pickup won’t touch these and will send them off to a landfill, some companies have programs in place to reuse them. Aveda, for example, will take your used caps and give them a second life.

Some Household Materials

Household materials are considered hazardous items and cannot be recycled. While they may be made from things that can be recycled, such as some metals, what is inside them makes them too risky to process. These items include spray paint cans, batteries, and aerosol cans.

Certain Plastics

Double check your plastics before you pitch them, as only certain numbers can be recycled. Unfortunately, curbside recyclers do not generally accept plastic products numbered 3, 4, 6, and 7.

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