The majority of people think all paper is recyclable, or that you can throw any plastic into the recycle bin, but you’d be surprised to find some things you thought were, but actually aren’t recyclable, and actually more suitable for the local junk removal guys.
Here’s our list of top 7 things you should NOT recycle.
1. Shopping Receipts
Did you know that shopping receipts that are shiny and smooth contain BPA (Bisphenol A)? This is a common chemical found in the thermal paper used to produce these not environmentally friendly and usually over long annoyances from our local grocery store. Say no to unrecyclable printed receipts and stick them in the junk removal pile if you do get plagued with owning one.
2. Plastic Bottle Caps
Good for you for sending your plastic water bottle into the blue recycling can, but don’t send the cap. The majority of plastic bottle caps are made from #5 plastic, which isn’t recycled by most municipalities in New Jersey.
3. Small Papers
Anything smaller than your hand is too small for traditional sorters. Things like scrap papers, post-its, gum wrappers, shredded paper, aluminum foil, etc, should be thrown in the trash for the junk removal guys. The good news is, paper decomposes quickly.
4. Soft Plastic Packaging
Unfortunately this type of packaging is found everywhere. It houses your favorite potato chips, salads, frozen vegetables, and is used for candy wrappers. It’s everywhere, but unfortunately, it’s not recyclable. There are some special receptacles for these, but the best solution is to avoid this type of packaging as much as possible. Buy your favorite foods in bulk, or the biggest sizes available, then divide it up into more environmentally sensible containers for your school or work lunches. Get your produce naked at your local market. Use reusable bags.
5. Glittery, Metallic Paper
This category includes wrapping paper, gift bags, greeting cards, and anything else utilizing these environmentally troublesome accents. Repurpose these as much as possible and give them life everlasting by using them in a child art project that you can hoard forever!
6. Greasy Pizza Boxes and Other Food Contaminated Containers
This is a big one, and here’s the problem. During the recycling process, oil and grease comingle with the paper pulp, rising to the top of the water “slurry”, which makes the whole batch unusable. So think twice before you send your greasy pizza boxes and oily Chinese take-out boxes into the recycling container. This is an item for your junk removal near me guys.
7. PVC Shower Curtains and Shower Liners
One of the most environmentally toxic plastics is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It’s a useful, but unfortunately it has super-hero like qualities and just won’t break down. If you’ve got one, extend its life by cleaning it regularly to prevent mold and dirt buildup, and consider the better solution in the future – a washable cloth version.