- Crush all cans carefully – waste o’ time. Nowadays you don’t need to do this step. Recycling centers take un-crushed cans happily.
- Toss greasy and food ridden cardboard into the recycling bin. Sadly, this can mess up an entire load of recyclables. Recycling center machines are fit to take on grease and grime. If you’ve got sticky, messy, greasy paper you need to toss it not recycle it.
- Don’t sort the recycling – some recycling centers will sort if you don’t but others will just toss bins full of mixed goods which does no one any good. Set up a home recycling centerand sort your recyclables.
- Be a perfectionist about food in jars – the machinery at the recycling center will zap that excess mayo or peanut butter out of a jar. In fact, if a lemon is stuck in a beer bottle or you can’t remove food from inside a narrow container you can still recycle it.
- Fail to recycle glossy paper– most recycling facilities do take old magazines and other glossy paper now. Check to be sure, but don’t just assume you can’t recycle it.
- Recycle before you re-purpose – recycling actually uses a fair amount of energy. IF you can re-purpose an itemfirst, you should.
- Toss anything into the bins – many items need to be recycled in a different manner than your recycling center can deal with. For example, toys and dishes and the like should go to the thrift store, CFLs need to go to a CFL specific center, hazardous waste is a whole other issue, and food can be composted. Don’t recycle willy nilly.
And the number one best way to recycle wrong – don’t bother at all.