Recycling conserves natural resources, saves money, decreases pollution, reduces energy consumption, and more.
That said, there are a lot of myths circulating about how to recycle that aren’t true.
When you think about recycling, what common facts come to mind?
While it’s good to know about recycling, many of the things we learn are not valid. By educating ourselves and learning more about how the recycling process works, we can do our part in helping the environment.
What are you doing to help the environment?
If you’re confused about recycling myths, we’re here today to debunk some of these myths! Here are six recycling myths debunked.
1. You’re Supposed to Crush Your Cans Before You Recycle Them.
While it used to be necessary to crush cans before recycling them, you no longer need to. Crushed cans can cause sorting issues in a recycling center—most facilities sort materials into two groups made of flat and non-flat materials.
Recycling facilities are more likely to missort crushed cans as flat items, contaminating the recycling stream.
2. You Can Put Plastic Bags in Your Recycling Bin.
Plastic bags are recyclable but are not allowed in recycling bins. Why? Well, when plastic bags get into the machinery in sorting facilities, the machinery can jam. When this happens, it wastes time and resources on getting people to remove them.
Not sure where to recycle your plastic bags? You can typically find drop-off bins for them in your neighbourhood.
3. You Can Put Electronics Into the Recycling.
Many people think that you can throw any recyclable item in the recycling bin. That’s not the case. Electronics like smartphones and batteries cannot go into the recycling because they can explode or cause a fire.
While electronics can go into the recycling, items like computers, smartphones, and more must go to specific facilities that handle electronics.
4. You Can Only Recycle Materials Once.
Quite the contrary – many materials can go into the recycling bin multiple times. Plastic is a material that has a short recycling life. Other materials like aluminum and glass can all go into recycling multiple times.
Whether a material can go into the recycling multiple times depends on the facilities that can sort these materials. It all depends if there is a market for the materials.
If a facility can’t sell recycled glass to make it a new product, they will not recycle it.
5. Any Item With a Recycling Symbol Can Go in the Recycling Bin.
This one might be a little confusing, and we understand why.
One of the biggest recycling myths is that any material with a recycling symbol on it is recyclable.
Many factors determine if an item is recyclable, and a resin identification code check is just one of them. That code tells you what type of plastic the material is. Many other factors determine if it goes into the recycling bin.
6. You Don’t Have to Separate Trash From Recyclables.
Non-recyclable items can contaminate an entire recycling stream, which causes damage to the recycling equipment.
These items can clog up the recycling equipment, which can result in costly repairs.
Check with your local recycling center if you’re unsure of what you can or cannot recycle. You can also check online.
Recycling reduces the need to harvest or extract raw materials from the earth. As an essential service, your local bottle depot ensures the health and safety of both the community and the environment.
Recycling is critical to ensure the health of our planet. When you organize recycling, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste produced every day.