Recycling is a simple concept: when you’re done using an object, you can turn it into a new one. 

But what can you recycle, and is it that simple? The good news is that recycling is easier than ever these days. Cities are offering curbside recycling pickups, and there are even online recycling options available. But, like most things, it pays to do your research before you start adding stuff to your recycling bin or clicking the recycle button on your screen.

It is essential to know what you can do and what you should avoid when recycling.

Recycling Do’s

Let’s start with what you should be doing to have the most positive impact.

Make It Easy To Recycle

At home, always keep a trash can on hand for non-recyclable items. It would help if you separated all of your recyclable items into different trash containers such as paper, cans, glass, plastics, and metal containers. Ensure the recycling bins are easy to access for those collecting them and don’t impede on your neighbors’ property.

Reduce Material Size

By reducing the size of the things you recycle, you will be saving the number of trips needed to transport it to the facility. This means flattening cardboard boxes and squashing down cans. The benefit is that the truck that picks up the items can carry more and therefore takes fewer trips.

The result in lowering the number of trips is less pollution from the trucks and less traffic on the roads.

Wash Containers

Cleaning out used containers such as milk cartons or yogurt pots is not only a polite thing to do, but it also has a serious explanation. Dirty containers make the recycling process more difficult due to the containment inside and their effect on the processing machinery. If the contaminants are considered to be too high in the sorting process, there is a high possibility that they will be thrown into the general waste and end up in a landfill.

Reuse Rather Than Recycle

The best form of recycling is arguably reusing a product again. Recycling is the process through which old materials like newspapers, aluminum cans, and glass bottles are repurposed to make new items. You can do this through many different methods, such as creating new products from recycled goods.


However, It takes a tremendous amount of energy to recycle products correctly, and although this energy usage is worthwhile, it is far more beneficial to simply reuse or upcycle something if possible. You could wipe clean aluminum foil provided that it isn’t too soiled or wash your glass bottles to reuse.

Recycling Don’ts

Now that we have covered some of the best practices, you should be aware of things to avoid.

Not Paper Is Recyclable

You can recycle many different paper forms without issue; however, other types may be detrimental to the recycling procedure. So can you recycle greaseproof paper or other forms of treated paper? The answer is, unfortunately, not. This is because they may contain harmful chemicals to the environment or damage the machinery involved. 

Use Your Garden Waste Elsewhere

It would be best if you did not throw tree and grass trimmings in with your other recyclables. However, that is not to say that you cannot make use of it in other ways. By creating compost in your garden, you will have access to a fabulous organic and environmentally friendly fertilizer without having to pay a fortune for it in a garden center.

Keep Clothing Separate

You should not include clothing in your recycling bins. If you have any old clothing that you want to get rid of, it is far better to give them goodwill and distribute it as needed. All forms of clothing will simply be discarded by the people sorting through the material and will most likely end up in a landfill.

Dirty Diapers Are Not Welcome

Soiled diapers should not be mixed with other recyclable materials. As disposable diapers are becoming one of the most discarded items in the United States, their inability to be reused is regrettable. If you are a parent and feeling somewhat guilty, there are other more environmentally friendly ways you use.


For example, you could think about reusable diapers, which are made from cloth. This trend is now a lot more popular than it used to be and is growing every year. Being able to wash them means considerably less ending up in a landfill.


Recycling is an integral part of how we use our resources. However, there are certain things that you should be aware of, including what materials you can or cannot recycle.

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