Thursday, June 25, 2009

Impact Tip -7 things you can't recycle

Some of you may have noticed the missing Impact Tip last week, I do apologize. I was in Tahoe with no internet, but I am also realizing how challenging it is to have a brand new baby during the peak season so I am going to limit myself to a new impact tip every other week through the fall in order to balance being a new mom, an educator, and photographer! Thank you for your understanding!

For this week, my mom sent me an interesting article that reminded me that sometimes we think recycling is as easy as plastic, glass, and paper, but there are a lot of things that can't be recycled and tossing them into the bins can actually slow down processing at recycling plants or even cause harm to the employees so I want to share those with you.

Seven things you can't recycle:
1. Plastic bags: these can serious slow downs because they have to be removed one by one. However, many grocery stores will not recycle these for you so save them for your trips to the store and keep them out of the recycle bin.

2. Plastic bottle caps: These are a serious hazard to plant employees as the caps trap air in the bottles and they can explode. Be sure to take the caps off before you recycle but don't worry, the little plastic rings are fine.

3. Frozen food boxes: These boxes contain a plastic layer in them which prevents them from being recycled.

4. Soy milk cartons: These containers contain a layer of foil and plastic which is hard to separate and can't be recycled.

5. Random plastic items: I have been guilty of this, thinking if its plastic, its recyclable but you really have to make sure to look for the triangle logo and then be sure that the number corresponds to one that your recycling center accepts.

6. Glass not from containers: If you are recycling vases or glasses during your spring cleaning, think again. These containers are meant to be used over and over so they have glass with a higher melting point. Give them away instead of tossing them in the bins.

7. Shredded paper: Now this seems like something that should be recyclable, after all it is paper. But these little shreds most often fall through the cracks and can clog machines costing valuable time and money to repair. Shred only what you need to and recycle the rest.

I hope that is helpful and for any other questions about recycling, consult Chicago Recycling Coalition.

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