With supply chain issues limiting the availability of raw materials, it’s more important than ever to recycle, and to recycle correctly. Republic Services is celebrating America Recycles Day on November 15 by sharing simple tips designed to help households recycle properly. A 2020 Republic Services survey revealed that 75 percent of Americans believe recycling is important but don’t always do it. A quarter of these respondents cited a lack of understanding of what can and can’t be recycled as a barrier. The following recycling best practices from Republic Services take some of the mystery out of the process:
- Know what to throw. Do your research about which items are recyclable in your community. Typically, items like plastic water bottles and jugs, aluminum and tin cans, and cardboard are recyclable. And, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Empty. Clean. Dry.™ Make sure containers are free of food or other residues. Take a few moments to rinse and dry items before tossing them in your recycling bin.
- Don’t bag it. Plastic grocery bags and garbage bags cannot be recycled curbside. Put your recyclables directly into your blue recycling container to be sure those loads don’t end up in the landfill.
- Understand Recycling Symbols: It is a common misconception that numbers on the bottom of plastic materials indicate whether an item is recyclable. Be sure to check w ith your local recycling provider for specific guidance on recycling plastics.
“Items that can be extracted from the waste stream and recycled support a circular economy, giving materials a second life as a new product,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. “Republic Services is making recycling easier by breaking down some of the perceived complexities and helping more Americans make it part of their daily routine.”
To help consumers improve their recycling habits, Republic Services created Recycling Simplified, which provides an array of consumer tips and resources, and a curriculum with at-home and school-based lesson plans for pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students.