How do I know if it’s recyclable?

What Is Recyclable At HomeIf you’re like many of us, you probably want to know what is recyclable after you clean out your closets, cupboards and garage. You want to know if you can recycle your vintage collection of golf balls, those perfectly good stuffed animals, and the nice old wicker baskets that you no longer want.

You want to know if you can place those unwanted treasures in your recycling cart for pickup by your local garbage company so that somebody else can use them. Well, the truthful green answer to this very good question is oftentimes, NO, you can’t put those items in your recycling cart.

What To Recycle In Your Recycle Cart

You can only place items in your garbage company’s recycling cart if the items in question have a market value at recycling facilities that do business with your garbage company. Although many garbage companies accept a variety of items in recycling carts―paper, glass, leaves, yard clippings, certain types of plastics and sometimes food waste―markets are still somewhat limited.

What Is Recyclable Other Places

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t recycle your unwanted stuff. In fact, there’s a darn good chance your collection of unwanted items might still be recyclable!

The bottom line is that an item is recyclable if an individual or organization wants it for any reason.

Not only does this mean that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, it also means that commercial markets for recyclables are continually changing and growing.

How to Find Out Exactly What Is Recyclable

What Can You Recycle?Here are good green habits to take when want an answer to the question:

What is recyclable?

  • Call your garbage company to ask if they accept your specific item in their recycling program―and request that they send a service brochure with your next bill.
  • Donate gently used and clean/washed items to schools or organizations such as Salvation Army.
  • Place your unwanted items in a box marked FREE outside your home.
  • Use your zip code at Earth911 to discover nearby markets for unwanted items.
  • Post your item at Freecycle to give it away (or get an item you need) for free.
  • Offer your items on Ebay, Craigslist or have a garage sale to make some money.

Going Green Bottom line:  When you find a taker for your unwanted stuff, you’ve recycled it―and kept it out of the landfill. Doesn’t that feel good? The earth will thank you for your efforts.

What have you recycled lately?

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