As a society, we need to be aware of our environment and the consequences of our actions. Recycling has become second nature to many, with the ease of curb side recycling pickups, local recycling centers that accept items and junk removal services that can get rid of the items for you. There are a number of things, however, than still can’t be recycled.

The following is a list of items that the recycling center can’t accept:

  1. Plastic hangers. Recycling machines can’t take the blend of plastics used to make hangers. They don’t break down properly.
  2. Mirrors. The chemicals in mirrors can’t be mixed with glass to be recycled. Flawed glass can’t be resold.
  3. Shower curtains and shower curtain liners. Made of a PVC base, shower curtains are of no use once they have been recycled.
  4. Plastic lids. Do you tend to replace the plastic lid on your pop and water bottles before recycling them? Think again. The small plastic lids can’t be recycled. They are made of a different type of material than the bottles and have a different melting point, as well as different uses. Many cities will not collect the lids, which are made of #5 plastic.
  5. Batteries and car parts. They contain toxic heavy metals and mercury. Batteries still hold a charge, even when they appear to be dead. They can spark a fire.
  6. Metals. In particular, aluminum foil and pie tins can’t be recycled. Aluminum foil doesn’t oxidize all the way through.
  7. Styrofoam. It’s not good for the landfill either, so avoid using Styrofoam cups and other products when possible.
  8. Computers and electronic equipment. For the same reason you can’t recycle car batteries and parts, computers contain toxic metals.
  9. Food contaminated containers. This includes pizza boxes and carry-out containers. Grease and oil contaminate the recycling process.
  10. Household hazardous waste. Paint cans, pesticides and light bulbs can’t be recycled. You can repurpose paint cans though. There are many creative ideas for the use of old paint cans, from organizing parts in the garage to using them as flower pots.
  11. Ceramics. Ceramic products don’t melt. They produce an unsellable product when recycled with glass.
  12. Tires. Car and bike tires don’t break down and they emit toxic gas when melted. It’s best to repurpose them.

As with anything, take a look at items you are ready to get rid of and decide if there is anything you can donate or repurpose. The tire once used on your truck could make a nice tire swing or a boundary for a flower garden, for example. If your old computer still works, why not donate it to a local school or other organization that can put it to good use?

Similarly, when making a purchase, consider how the item will break down over time. Will you be able to recycle it when you are done with it? Will it linger in a landfill for the next 700 years? Buy eco-friendly products whenever possible and avoid purchasing items that can’t be recycled. plastic recycling machine

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