Myth: The recycling arrows on a container means it is recyclable in my town's program
Answer: Only in some cases. (page 2)
Myth: It doesn't mattter if something belongs in the recycling cart, the hauler will sort everything anyway
Answer: False. (page 2)
Myth: All plastics can be recycled with my bottles and cans
Answer: False. (page 4) Please don't include plastic bags, styrofoam® or other soft or crinkly plastics! Only rigid containers.
Q: What kinds of plastic are recyclable in my town's recycling program? A: Most clean rigid containers. (page 4) Those numbered 1,2 and 5 are the most desirable.
Q: Are cartons, juice boxes, pizza boxes, and paper beverage cups recyclable in my town's program? A: It depends (page 5) In sum, only gable top and aseptic cartons, and clean pizza boxes can be recycled. No frozen food containers, paper cups, paper ream wrap or beer/soda packaging- a plastic layer is either embedded or sprayed on, and cannot be separated.
Q: What about paper towels, napkins, tissues, shredded paper, and paper plates? A: No (page 6)
Q: Does my town include glass in it's recycling program? A: All SSRC town programs accept glass bottles and jars. No drinking glasses, window panes, light bulbs, or ceramics - these can ruin a whole batch of new bottles at the other end.
Q: Aerosol cans? A: Only if completely empty (page 7)
Q: How clean is "clean"? A. Quick rinse for most liquids, spatula empty for thick liquids. (page 8). Hint: Shake some water in your almost empty bottle of shampoo or laundry detergent and get one or two more washes.
Q: What about hoses, tanks, shower curtains, candy wrappers, swing sets, skis, bowling balls, diapers, silverware, pots and pans? A: Don't do it! Only paper, cardboard, bottles and rigidcontainer, can be recycled withthe paper, cardboard, bottles and rigid containers. (page 8) See the SSRC Recycling A-Z page for other outlets.
Discover the proper way to recycle plastic bags and other tanglers (holiday lights, clothing, etc.) This does not just go for Chicago, but for everywhere.
Take a video tour of the Waste Management recycling plant in Avon, where many of our towns’ recyclables go. Rosemary Nolan narrates.