Tips For Recycling Better

We’re often asked for advice on how to recycle better. Here’s a summary of our best practices which you can easily share with your friends and colleagues:

1. SOURCE SEPARATE
Unless your recycling program is single stream, you probably need to sort your recyclables. To save time and energy, place containers for each recycling stream wherever that item becomes waste. That way you won’t have to sort your materials later.

2. DON’T JUST THROW
Not all recycling containers are meant for all recyclables. Adding the wrong recyclable material to a container will cause contamination, and can result in the entire container being landfilled instead of recycled.

3. RINSE AND WIPE CLEAN
Sometimes waste items contain residues, such as food waste or oils, which can contaminate your recycling stream. To avoid causing contamination, try rinsing your recyclables and wiping away any residues.

4. DON’T RECYCLE AIR
Whether recycling at work or home, often the most expensive aspect of recycling is transportation. To reduce transportation costs, try to condense your recyclables as much as possible and reduce the amount of air you recycle. In a manufacturing setting, this could mean using a compactor or baler to condense large loads of recyclables. Or at home, this might mean breaking down your cardboard boxes or crushing your plastic containers to fit more recyclables into your containers.

5. KEEP IT DRY
Extra water or other liquids add weight to your recyclables and can cause increased transportation costs. Liquids can also deteriorate the quality and value of any paper. Therefore, try to avoid adding wet items or liquids to your recycling streams.

6. KEEP ALL CONTAINERS TOGETHER
If you have containers for different recyclable materials or trash containers for landfill, try to keep all your disposal containers together. Doing so will reduce the chances of someone throwing the wrong items in whatever container is most conveniently located.

7. KNOW WHAT’S ACCEPTED
Not every recycling program is the same and not every recycling company will accept every recyclable material. The best way to recycle correctly is by asking your recycling service provider for detailed instructions outlining what can be recycled and how these materials should be collected and sorted for recycling.

We hope these best practices help improve your recycling. For your convenience, here’s is a printable PDF version of our tips: Tips For Recycling Better.