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Recycle. Just Do It.

Ahhh, recycling. With every glass bottle and plastic container placed into the recycling bin, you feel a little closer to nature. Recycling is great. Sadly enough though, not everything can be returned back to a natural state. Whether you've just started on the recycling journey or you're a veteran, here's a quick refresher on what can and can not be recycled.

How to Recycle at Home

It's important to note that recycling guidelines will vary depending on your area and your provider so if in doubt, make sure to confirm your area's protocol.

Plastic Recycling Scale

You've likely seen the arrow symbol on plastic containers before. Did you know that the accompanying number is a cheat sheet on how easy it is to recycle? The scale runs from 1–7.

  • 1, 2 or 4 indicates that the plastic should be easily recycled curbside.
  • If your plastic item boasts a 3, 6 or 7, then it can probably not be recycled curbside (but there is likely an alternative location you could drop off).
  • A 5 means that you should make a quick call to verify that your facility will pick up it up from the curb.

Recycle Rules of Thumb

General Recycling Rules of Thumb

  • Bottles, cans, paper and cardboard are (almost) always a go!
  • Things should be sort of clean before hitting the recycling bin (give it a little rinse).
  • Plastic bags can't be thrown in with everything else and will likely need to be taken to a secondary recycling location.

Keep in mind that there are many ways that household "trash" can be upcycled and reused at home. So even if it can't technically be recycled, there are still many clever ways to make sure it doesn't end up in the trash.

The Do's and Don'ts of Recycling at Home

Do recycle 👍

  • Plastic bottles/jugs
  • Junk mail/cards
  • Magazines
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Cereal boxes
  • Aluminum/steel/tin cans
  • Anything glass

dos and don'ts of sorting recycling at home

Don't recycle 👎

  • Receipts
  • Anything smaller than a post it (wrappers, scrap paper)
  • Zip lock bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Soft plastics like frozen veggie bags, chip bags, salad bags, etc.
  • Food soiled containers that can't be washed (pizza boxes, Chinese containers, etc.)
  • Egg cartons
  • Plastic utensils
  • Pyrex
  • Mirrors
  • Shower curtains and liners
  • Frozen food containers
  • Styrofoam

The road to recycling can feel a bit overwhelming at first when deciphering which household objects make the cut. However once you get in the groove it's a practice that you can feel great about. So give yourself a pat on the back for the extra effort and know that the Earth and future generations are saying THANK YOU!

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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