Recycling 101: How to Recycle the Right Way

Recycling 101: How to Recycle the Right Way

You want to recycle more and recycle better — but if you’re like most people, you have questions about what to recycle and how. We’re here to help! So keep on reading to learn how to recycle the right way.

Recycling Varies From Location to Location

The only way to know for sure what is recycled in your town, city or county is to do your research. There are certain items that are pretty much recyclable, like PETE #1 bottles (water and soda bottles), but many items vary from place to place.

Know What Goes in Your Bin

Make sure you pay extra close attention to what you put in your recycle bin. 

When it comes to plastics, some are worse than others and not all plastics can be recycled. So learn your recycling numbers (PETE #1 and PP #5, for instance) to know what is easily recyclable, what is not and items to avoid.

These are the most common items accepted in recycling programs across the United States:

  • Aluminum cans and tins
  • Rigid plastic #1 (PETE #1)
  • Rigid plastic #2 (HDPE #2)
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles

Note: Recyclables should be loose in the bin. Do not put them in plastic bags!

Keep It Clean and Dry

Now that you’re putting the right items in the recycling bin, are you putting them in the right way?

You can’t put in dirty jars or pizza-stained boxes. So make sure your recycling is clean and dry. It doesn’t have to be absolutely spotless, but they need to be relatively clean so when all of those products are turned back into raw materials, the businesses who buy them will be buying a quality product.

Living Sustainably

While learning how to properly recycle is important, one of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to use less and reuse items you already have. This is a great way to live a more sustainable lifestyle and you won't have to worry about whether the items you put in your bin will be recycled or end up in the landfills.