Are you recycling “smart” and avoiding the most common recycling mistakes? Not sure? Want to learn more? Then read on…
Learning to Recycle correctly is important for several reasons.
- Adding items to recycle bins that you “hope” or “wish” were recyclable, even though they are not, adds expense to the process as the recycling facility must separate these items out and divert them to the trash. Examples include light bulbs, mirrors, plastic flower pots/toys, patio furniture, coat hangers, tools and other metal objects.
- You help the town of Needham save money
- You help improve local, and ultimately global, recycling practices.
- It’s the right thing to do and it’s easy!
So, get all your recycling questions answered on the state’s Recycle Smart website! It has a lot of great information about recycling in Massachusetts, such as:
- A “Recyclopedia” search feature that allows you find out whether a specific item can be recycled, and if so, how and where.
- A “Smart” Recycling Guide”- a one-page downloadable/printable chart that visually describes what to recycle and what not to recycle.
- An informative FAQ page that answers many questions about recycling in Massachusetts. Check out the last question “Can I recycle this?” for detailed explanations about whether or not many commonly discarded items are recyclable in the RTS recycling bins – e.g., styrofoam, pizza boxes, shredded paper, textiles, etc.
- Information about why a specific item is not recyclable in the recycling bins at the RTS; e.g., “frozen food boxes” – these may seem to be the same as cereal boxes, which are recyclable with mixed paper, but the frozen food boxes have a thin layer of plastic embedded in the cardboard box to prevent freezer burn, which makes them different and not recyclable with mixed paper.
- Videos with helpful tips about recycling.
- Current (or prior) monthly newsletter (and a link to sign up to receive the newsletter via email).
- Think you know a lot about recycling? Take the quiz and find out!
Here are some common recycling mistakes that we make – make sure that you’re not making these:
The goal is to keep food and liquids from contaminating the paper and cardboard in the recycling system, avoid attracting unwanted pests, and keep recycling workers from having to sort through sticky, moldy recyclables!
- Adding black plastic take-out containers with recycling symbols to the mixed plastic/metal/glass recycle bin. (NO – here’s why)
- Adding plastic grocery bags (or any plastic bag, plastic film or plastic wrap) to the mixed plastic/metal/glass recycle bin. (NO – here’s why)
- Adding milk/juice cartons items to the mixed plastic/metal/glass recycle or Mixed paper bins. (NO – here’s why)
- Adding glass/plastic food containers with food residue to the mixed plastic/metal/glass recycle bin. NO – the food residue attracts vermin, smells, and can contaminate paper and cardboard in the recycling system.
- Recycling common alkaline batteries. (NO – here’s why)
- What other recycling questions have you been wondering about? Get them all answered on the Recycle MA website!