Ordering pizza or carrying out Chinese food can make mealtime and the cleanup after a breeze. But if you are thinking of tossing those pizza boxes and paper takeout containers in the recycling bin, think again.
While recycling is an important step in helping to better Mother Earth, it’s just as imperative to make sure materials placed in the bin actually belong.
Once soiled by grease, cheese or other food residue, pizza boxes and paper to-go containers cannot be recycled. You can, however, tear off the untarnished parts of the pizza box and recycle them.
Did your takeout food come in a Styrofoam container? The material is recyclable but it requires highly specialized equipment that single stream recycling facilities are not equipped with. Make sure to keep Styrofoam out the recycling bin.
Plastic grocery bags should also be kept out. When they get caught in the recycling sorter the whole system has to be shut down in order to manually pull the bags out. Instead, consider taking them back to the store where there are specially designated bins for recycling plastic bags.
While the shift toward single stream recycling makes the initiative incredibly easy, it also means people often mix in items that cannot be recycled with those that can.
When that happens, environmental service providers and local governments have to spend millions of dollars each year removing items (also called contaminants) that shouldn’t be in the recycling stream or discarding overly contaminated items that could have been recycled.
That’s why it’s important to know before you throw.
What items can be recycled? Beverage and food cans, glass and plastic jars, jugs, glass bottles, plastic bottles and caps, and cardboard cereal and food boxes are all acceptable.
Make Mother Earth proud by recycling right today.
For more information or any other questions, please visit Advanced Disposal at www.advanceddisposal.com.