How to Recycle at Home

A lot of people are talking about recycling these days, but unfortunately only a small number of them actually do something on the subject. Recycling starts at your home and here’s what you need to know about it.

Almost everything in your home is recyclable. You may think that it requires a lot of work and time, but it’s really not like that. You only need to learn a couple of things and to apply a couple of new rules. Check them out.

1. Recycling Paper

Every type of paper can be recycled, but they don’t all go together. You’ll need to make a couple of separate bins if you’re really looking to recycle all the paper from your home.

Put the newspapers on a separate pile. They go directly back into newspapers producing process and therefore should not be mixed with other types of paper. Magazines and all glossy types of paper should go on a second pile. This pile is also the place for computer paper.

The third pile is meant for cardboard. You can recycle flat and corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard is considered a very valuable recycling material, but ask if your local recycling center accepts it.

The most important thing about recycling paper is to keep it dry. It’s usually enough to pile it and tie with a string. Laminated paper and cardboard as well as wax or plastic coated paper and cardboard cannot be recycled.

2. Recycling Plastic

Woman Recycling Plastic

Not all types of plastic are recyclable. It is best to avoid using plastic products as much as you can. Still, there are so many things around us made of plastic – we can’t really avoid using it completely. What we can and should do is recycle all plastic that can be recycled.

Plastic is labeled with numbers and not all of it is recyclable. However, almost every recycling center accepts types #1 and #2 – PET and HDPE. You will need to ask at your local recycling center about the types of plastic they accept. In the meantime, find out about plastic types and the possibility of recycling them on this link.

3. Recycling Glass

Woman Recycling Glass

Glass is highly recyclable and all recycling centers accept it. Of, course, you should ask about any specific rules, but glass is generally separated by color – clear, green and brown. It is not all recycled together, so separating the glass by color shortens the process of recycling a lot.

Ask if your local recycling center accepts light bulbs, mirrors and sheet glass. Not all centers accept these types of glass because they have a higher melting point than bottles and therefore cannot be recycled together.

4. Recycling Aluminum, Steel and Copper

All the food cans can and should be recycled. Ask if your local recycling center prefers them whole or flattened and labels removed. Aluminum cans are especially valuable recycling material and recycling centers usually prefer to get those whole. Aluminum foils are also recyclable.

Aerosol and paint cans can also be recycled, but they need to be given with original labels. These cans are considered a possible hazardous material, because they are pressurized. They should be separated from other cans and given with markings of what was in them.

Copper is 100% recyclable and it is considered a very valuable recycling material. Recycling it requires only 15% of energy that is used in producing it, so if you have anything made out of copper you want to get rid of – take it to your recycling center.

5. Electronic Devices

When it comes to recycling electronic devices, the best idea is to give them away to someone. This is of course possible only if they are still working. There is someone who will find your old computer useful.

However, if you have an electronic device that does not work, you can probably call a local organization to collect and recycle it. Same goes for old cell phones and batteries. Batteries can also be left in special battery recycling cans found at malls – you’ll need to check if your mall has one of these. You can call 1-800-8-BATTERY to get this information.

So, do you recycle? Now that you have these tips for recycling at home there are no more excuses. Start recycling today and help keep out planet green.

About the author


I’m a free spirit who likes to travel, cook and fly. Licensed paraglider pilot, I spend all my spare time flying. In the meantime, I like to share my recipes and travel experiences.

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