Originally Posted on 2/1/2012 on www.emmergroupblog.com:
For it being January, Mother Nature’s been treating Gainesville pretty kindly with this mild weather in the 70’s. And while we’re not complaining, it’s pretty obvious that we could take a little more time to be appreciative of the mild hurricane season, the bright sunshine and the amount of great sports weather we’ve had during our “winter” months thus far.
We at Emmer love to give back in thanks, and one way to do this is to recycle. While there’s a huge effort here in our lovely city to follow the green road, you’d be surprised how many people throw away things that could easily be reused or chuck un-recyclable things in the green bins. So, while you can find tons of sources on things you can recycle, we’re going to fill you in on some things you cannot.
1) Pizza Boxes: This may not be the biggest surprise for you, as it’s been going around for a while that the drippy cardboard can’t really be used again, but it’s the why that really matters here. Once recyclable products have been saturated with food stuffs, they become virtually useless and destined for the trash bin. This also includes products like juice boxes and aluminum foil, which is a big bummer.
2) Wet Paper Products: The minute you accidentally spill your soda on the newspaper, it’s time to hit the trash. Once the fibers have changed from the absorption of the liquid, you’ve lost all recyclability. This list also includes paper towels and tissues- so no trying to recycle during cold and flu season!
3) Bottle Caps: Yes, your water bottles can be recycled. However, only if you take off the lid of that bottle. That plastic has been used in a way where it’s now unusable and keeping it on the bottle adds more effort to the ones recycling. An exception? Dasani- they’ve made their entire bottles recyclable.
4) Plastic Bags: This one even threw us for a loop! Believe it or not, those plastic bags you get from the grocery store, the clothing store, and pretty much every other store ARE NOT recyclable, primarily because they take too much time to sort and can be dangerous to rummage through. Instead, you can often take them to “bag depositories” or back to the store you got them from!
We got a lot of our information from this great article on EcoSalon, which can fill you in on some other surprising things you can’t recycle. While this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recycling your stuff, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re interested in learning more about the process, check out all the details our fair city has to tell at the City of Gainesville’s Recycling Page or, if you’re an out-of-towner, find out more about your own cities options through Earth911.com. Either way, happy green-ifying!