Wait! Are you sure that's recyclable?

11 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Since I started this project, I've run across many misconceptions (including my own) about what is and isn't recyclable. What makes the issue so confusing is that every city has its own rules about what can and can't be placed in curbside bins. Some areas require more separation of recyclables than others. Even among a few environmental activists I've met, there is confusion about recycling. If they can't figure it out, how is the average person supposed to? So, here are a few clarifications about recycling that might help:

1) A triangular "chasing arrows" recycling symbol on an item, especially a plastic one, does not mean that it can be recycled! Many, many people make this mistake. The number inside the triangle simply indicates what type of plastic the item is made from and may sometimes be helpful in determining which plastics are and are not recyclable. BUT NOT ALWAYS! For example, my city of Oakland accepts plastic narrow-necked bottles, regardless of the number inside the triangle. And that is the ONLY type of plastic that they accept.

FPF reader Radical Garbageman says, "I've seen people who have completely deconstructed their old electronics and meticulously placed all of the non-recyclable hard plastic in the bin. 'A' for effort, but putting non-recyclables in the bin is just a REALLY expensive way of putting them in the landfill."

Click through to read 11 more facts that you should know about recycling and recycling programs.

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