The reality is: everything recycles. The only hang-up is when we get these things that aren’t readily reusable, so your local recycling centers will say, ‘no that’s not recyclable,’ when what they really mean is the item you might want to recycle is not within the capacity of their operation. They’re only protecting their own interests. You would too. It costs a lot to remove the less-recyclable from the currently-recyclable.
So what is and what isn’t recyclable? Here are some things usually considered recyclable:
Paper—one of the most common things people send to the three arrows bin, paper can be repurposed several times before the fibers are too fine to be reused.
Aluminium—otherwise known as aluminum, this too is one of the most often considered substances to send for recycling.
Lead/acid batteries—because of tracking and reimbursement programs, these actually have a respectable percentage of being recycled. Nearly 100% of all lead/acid batteries produced get recycled!
Glass—highly recyclable, and yes, green, red, whatever-colored glass can be recycled like the rest.
Plastics—when these don’t get recycled, people often claim they don’t understand the labeling system. It’s not too difficult. Like materials can be recycled together. HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene. LDPE stands for Low Density Polyethylene. PETE stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate. PVC means Polyvinyl Chloride. PP means Polypropylene. PS means Polystyrene.
Food scraps—one of the least recycled materials, food scraps often get sent off to the landfill. Food scraps make excellent compost. Everything from egg shells to orange peels can be composted and used for gardening, creating new earth, in a manner of speaking.