Thursday, April 8, 2010
Do you know how your local recycling works - what's accepted, and what's not? I find that many of my clients do not know - and that their local curbside recycling programs often accept much more than they realized. Here are a few items that often cause confusion.
1. Envelopes with plastic windows, sticky notes, glossy paper, paper with staples, cardboard with tape, paperback books.
When recycling programs were first starting up, many of them did not accept these items. I just checked six programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they all accept these items now.
Yes, many paperback books can get reused rather than recycled. But sometimes a book is so battered, or so out of date, that recycling is the only practical option.
2. Shredded paper.
Some recycling programs around here take shredded paper if it's placed in a paper bag that's stabled shut. Other programs want the shredded paper placed in a clear plastic bag.
3. Photographs and photo paper.
Some local programs say that photographs are plastic-coated paper and not recyclable. However, other programs list them as perfectly acceptable.
4. Black plastic food containers and to-go clamshell containers.
Some programs in my area take these, and some don't.
So check the rules for your local program; you may be in for a surprise or two!