Do's and Don'ts of Recycling

Many things can be recycled or reused.  Sometimes you need to think creatively to reuse (or find someone who can use it creatively.) Some things should not go into your recycling bin at all.  There are some companies trying to make a difference in the world by recycling things that other will not.

I found this list of 50 things you can recycle or reuse.  It lists everything from bricks to shower curtains.

There are, of course, certain things you simply cannot recycle.  Examples include aerosol cans, batteries, brightly dyed paper, diapers.  There are also things you should never compost (see the link for a list.) 

Furthermore, there are things you might think you should be able to recycle, but can't.  (Always check your local rules and regulations about recycling.  If you don't follow the rules, all of the things you think you are recycling may end up in the landfill.  Rules vary.)
  • The lids to plastic bottles.  The bottles, of course, can be recycled.  The caps cannot.  Aveda has an recycling initiative that accepts all kinds of the rigid caps.
  • Any food containers contaminated with food.  Although pizza boxes or other take out boxes may be made from materials that can be recycled, if they have food particles or grease on them, they can contaminate the entire batch of recyclables.
  • Cosmetic containers cannot be recycled.  However, Origins store has a recycling program for these containers, regardless of brand.  Just drop off your empty cosmetic contains at a Origins store.
  • Products made from glossy, glazed, foiled or lacquered materials.  For example, candy bar wrappers, potato chip bags, etc.
  • Tissues, paper towels and napkins.  Too contaminated and too low-grade to be recycled.
When in doubt, do some research and ask around and think outside of the box!

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