10 Recycling Mistakes

Recycling requires attention to detail: You need to know whether the item is recyclable, how to take care of it, and where to take it. The process is a bit overwhelming for many people, especially in a business setting. Here are ten of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to recycling and how they can be corrected: 

Recycling Greasy Containers

Getting takeout is a matter of convenience for many people. They feel better about the single-use food serving containers because they are recycling them at the end of the day, but they might want to think twice. Once the grease and food soak into the paper, the container can no longer be recycled due to the contamination. Takeout containers and pizza boxes are better relegated to the actual trash can.

Shredded Paper

If your business goes through a lot of shredded documents each week, you might be eager to send those small pieces of paper to the recycling centre. Just because they are made of paper doesn’t mean that they can be recycled. In most situations, the shreds are too small to go into the machine. Be sure to call ahead and ask if shredded paper is accepted before dropping it off.  

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags can’t be recycled, so don’t include them with your regular recycling. Instead, take them to a grocery store or department store that offers a recycling bin specifically designed for plastic bags. 

Bagging Recyclables

Many people want to bag their recyclables such as cans or bottles. However, you do not want to bag your recyclables, even in a paper bag. Instead, you should empty the bags of your items directly into the recycling bin. 

Clean Your Containers

No matter what type of foodstuff you might be recycling, it is important that you clean containers before taking them to the recycling plant. This might be inconvenient but it prevents the food from contaminating the rest of the recyclables and ruining an entire batch of items. 

No Wires or Cords

Wires and cords are commonly thought of as being recyclable, but this is actually not the case. They should always be taken to an electronics recycler. 

Non-Recyclable Paper

Just because something is made of paper doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be recycled. Only plain paper is eligible for recycling. If it has a plastic coating on it, then it must go in the garbage instead. For example, coffee cups, milk cartons, and plastic-lined plates cannot be accepted by the recycling plant. 

Glass Is Not Created Equally

Not all glass items are made from recyclable materials that can be reused in the future. Different types of glass will have varying chemical compositions and different melting points. This is why you can recycle glass containers such as salsa jars but not dishes, Pyrex containers, or even light bulbs. 

Frozen Food Packaging

If you consume a lot of frozen meals, you might be tempted to recycle the boxes that your meals come in because they are made of cardboard. However, this is generally not a good idea for the same reason that you can’t recycle all types of paper. The cardboard used to make these boxes often have plastic coatings that prevent freezer burn and make it ineligible for recycling. 

Crushing Cans and Removing Labels

A lot of people mistakenly believe that they are helping the recycling centre by taking the time to crush down cans and remove the labels from glass items. This is an unnecessary step that does not actually mean much for your recycling. All you really need to do is clean or rinse out each one of these containers and drop them directly into the recycling bin. 

Book Your Commercial Cleaning Services

Recycling things the right way can be a bit confusing, but your janitorial services may be able to help. If you need green commercial cleaning services in Calgary, contact Certified Green Cleaning Inc. to discuss your options!