Greasy pizza boxes and plastic bags are part of the list.

Waste360 Staff, Staff

May 29, 2018

1 Min Read
Six Items People Incorrectly Recycle

As more and more residents and businesses try to step up their recycling game, it’s important to note what is and what isn’t recyclable. While items like plastic bags and cardboard pizza boxes may seem recyclable, they actually do more harm than good if placed in a recycling stream. Greasy pizza boxes can contaminate clean recyclables, and plastic bags can damage and jam recycling machinery, for example.

Other common items that people incorrectly recycle include disposable cups, yogurt cups, oily takeout containers and diapers (yes, really).

The New York Times has more:

We have all done it: a greasy pizza box, a disposable coffee cup, the odd plastic bag. Sometimes, we want things to be recyclable, so we put them in the recycling bin.

Waste managers often call this wishful or aspirational recycling. But, unfortunately, putting these objects in with the rest of the recycling can do more harm than good. While rules differ in every municipality (check your local recycling website to find out what’s acceptable), we have picked out some key offenders to keep in mind.

Too many of these items will contaminate a batch of recycling. That means waste managers might not be able to find buyers for the materials — especially now that China, one of the world’s main importers of recyclable waste, has said it will reject shipments that are more than 0.5 percent impure. Contaminated loads could be sent to the landfill instead.

Read the full story here.

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