4 Common Pitfalls Of Curbside Recycling

Posted on: 4 October 2018


When you have a curbside recycling bin, it is often tempting to try and recycle things that may not be on the recommended items list. You love the planet, right? Why not recycle the inner plastic bag from your quinoa cereal? In all actuality, recycling is not something that only those who attended the original Woodstock encourage — not anymore. 

Jokes aside, it is common for many individuals to be unaware or unsure of what is and is not recyclable through companies like Industrial Services Inc. Here are some common mistakes people make. For a complete list of what recycling is acceptable in your area, contact your local recycling center.

1. Recycling Greasy/Soiled Paper/Cardboard: It's the end of the month and your curbside recycling bin is almost full of good, clean, locally approved recyclables, and then all of the sudden you decide to recycle a pizza box. Depending on the severity of grease, that one box could potentially soil most of the paper in your bin, making the whole batch difficult to recycle. Sometimes it is better to throw away just one box in order to protect the collection as a whole.

2. Recycling Frozen Paperboard Boxes: It's a paper material, so it should be recycled, right? Wrong. Many paper products that store frozen foods have been covered with a plastic polymer spray that prevents the box from breaking down in the harsh environment of the freezer. This film also prevents these boxes from being broken down easily in the recycling process, making them a no-no for the recycling bin.

3. Plastic Bags: A common mistake that many individuals make is trying to recycle plastic grocery bags. These are very rarely accepted at recycling centers, though they are used so commonly in society. In order to avoid this pitfall, consumers are strongly encouraged to never use plastic grocery bags. With a little planning ahead, reusable bags can be brought to any grocery center, avoiding the problem before it even begins. 

4. Not Cleaning Out Cans and Bottles: It can seem tedious, washing out your cans and bottles before placing them in the recycling, but this step is necessary in order to avoid big problems down the line. In addition to increasing the likelihood of mold growing in the container, uncleaned cans and bottles could be the reason why a whole load of recycling gets rejected. Rejection leads to the dump, and the whole batch of recycling is wasted. It is better to just take the extra step to wash out your recycling.

Take the time to know what the curbside recycling guidelines are in your area. It will definitely pay off in the long run!