While most plastics can be recycled, some plastics should simply be thrown away because the recycling machine can’t process them. Here are a few simple tips to help you know what to recycle:
1. How Small Is Too Small?
Small items can jam the recycling machinery. Anything smaller than a credit card should be thrown in the trash, not recycled. For example, water bottle caps are too small to recycle alone; instead, leave the cap on the bottle when recycling the bottle.
2. The Poke Test
When recycling plastics, keep in mind that not all types of plastic can be recycled in your container at home. Flexible plastics will get tangled in the recycling machinery—they require special handling and therefore should not be included in your recycling bin. One easy way to test your plastic is the “Poke Test.” If you can push your finger through the plastic, then it is too soft to be recycled at home. Items like plastic water bottle wraps, grocery bags and sandwich bags are common contaminants that fail the “Poke Test” and should be excluded from your recycling bin.
3. Rinse and Dry
All recyclable containers should be rinsed to completely remove any residual food or liquids. Then, shake off the excess water so that no more than one teaspoon of liquid is left inside the rinsed out container. Putting the cap back on the container also helps ensure the other recyclables aren’t soiled by any lingering water droplets.
To learn more recycling tips, visit recyclingsimplified.com.