Don't put these in your blue bin:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic lids
- Plastic clamshells
- Frozen and refrigerated food boxes
- Paper cups
- Pizza boxes
- Batteries, of any kind
Why shouldn’t these go in? Find out.
Bottom line: When in doubt, keep it out. Recycling right is more important than recycling more, because putting the wrong thing in the bin (like plastic bags) can cause big problems (like jamming the machines that sort recycling).
A behind-the-scenes look at where your recycling goes
Once your recycling leaves your work or home bin, that jumble of paper, metal and plastic, all has to be sorted. The sorting involves conveyor belts, blowing air, giant magnets, and sorting by hand. See it here:
Vinod Singh explains how recyclables are sorted at Hillsboro's Far West Recycling, and where they go from there.
Once the recycling is sorted into material type – paper, cardboard, metal, etc. – then it’s sold to buyers in the region and around the world to be made into new products.
We often focus on recycling, yet it’s actually at the bottom of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy.
If you want to save energy, water and resources, the best thing you can do is reduce the items you consume (products, packaging) and then reuse the items as many times as possible.
Thanks to our program partner, Metro, who produced the articles and videos referenced here.