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When In Doubt, Recycle Mystery Materials? 5

By Recyclebank |

Is it better to take the gamble, and put it in the recycling container just in case?

Should you recycle something just in case it might be recyclable? The answer is: No! That's right. Contrary to what many might guess, it is actually a bad idea to put something in the recycling bin if you don't know whether or not it's recyclable in your area. This is because if unrecyclable materials find their way into a materials-recycling facility (MRF) they disrupt the recycling process and can contaminate entire batches of recyclable materials. Recycling contamination means lots of otherwise recyclable materials have to be landfilled, so we must all do our best to pay attention to what we're putting in our recycling bins.

If you have a mystery material, ask your hauler if you can recycle it in your bin. If you can’t find an answer, it’s best to trash that one item and save an entire batch of neighborhood recycling from contamination at the MRF.

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  • Charlotte O. 5 months ago
    I wish our city still gave points for recycling, also can plastic coat hangers be recycled.
  • Dorothy Gray R. 5 months ago
    Not sure about how to dispose of unused can goods
  • Sue C. 5 months ago
    I try not to just throw anything into the recycling bins. I usually hold onto the item if it is not recyclable by curbside pickups.Usually there will be a company out there that will accept certain types of materials that may be different. If not, there is always repurposing to turn that item into something worthwhile.
  • Lorraine Genovese L. 7 months ago
    Recycle mystery material was interesting. I have to remember when in doubt throw it out. Do not want to contaminate .
  • Barb R. 8 months ago
    Helpful advice "When In Doubt, Throw It Out!" I have lived by that little rhyme for years since I first started recycling! :)
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