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What Can I Recycle?

Learn about all the things you can recycle in this Howcast video featuring Alegre of Green and Greener.


Hi, Alegre from EmberLiving, here today to talk about what can you recycle and how. A lot of people ask me this question: "Is this recyclable? Is this recyclable?" OK, well a basic tip about recycling is that the item needs to be able to be separated into a single material in order for it to be recycled. So, for instance, let's take a kid's toy.

There are some plastic parts in there, there are some metal parts in there, maybe there's even some wood parts in there. You can't recycle that item the way it is, but if there's just nuts and screws holding it together, you could take it apart and then the metal can be thrown in the recycle bin, and the plastic can be thrown in the recycle bin, and the wood could be thrown either in the trash or in the compost bin. So, that's how you have to think about it: is this item separable into a single material?

Now it also depends on where you live, as to what you can recycle, because every municipality is different. Where I live in Los Angeles we can actually recycle a lot of things that can't be recycled in other parts of the country. We can even recycle things like styrofoam. So you should find out, because municipalities are constantly updating their recycling programs. But almost anything can be recycled that can be broken down into a single material. Another great tip is to Google "How can I recycle everything?"

There's lots of websites out there that have tips on how to recycle things, includes websites where you can send printer cartridges, prom dresses, almost anything under the sun that you can think of, so that it can get recycled or reused into something else. So there's lots of great ways to recycle things, but think about can it be broken down into a single material? Things like pizza boxes, where the cardboard box gets infused with grease, you can't recycle that. That has to go into trash. But maybe the top part of the pizza box, where there's no grease, can be put into the recycle bin. So single-source of materials is the most important thing. And check your municipality.

There's a lot of ways to recycle things that you may be surprised about and the information is constantly changing. Thank you.

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