You know how important recycling is, you just don’t know how you can do your part.

We all appreciate the opportunity to recycle. Our towns and cities have allowed us to participate but the rules are sometimes confusing. Initially, recycling household products involved separating into bins before they were picked up. Now, many communities have gone to a single bin for all products.

Have the recycling rules changed?

No. There are still standards about recycling we need to be aware of and I thought it may be helpful to remind you of those in a list so here are the facts:


Many cities and towns have locations that receive and recycling electronics. Some refurbish them for resale or redistribution. Some disassemble to destroy. Sometimes there are rebates sometime not.


  • Glass containers (bottles) are often separated by color.
  • Lightbulbs, sheet glass, mirrors and Pyrex recycle together because of a different melting point than containers.


Almost all metal can be recycled. Metal has a good to excellent rebate. Day to day the demand for different metals will fluctuate. A vital detail regarding metal is cleanliness.

  • Food can need to be rinsed. Some centers prefer no labels.
  • Soda cans need to be rinsed. Some centers like them crushed others not.
  • Foil wrap need to be rinsed.
  • Paint and aerosol cans are hazardous but are sometime accepted with labeling intact at recycling facilities.
  • All other heavy metals like copper, iron, steel are recyclable and valuable

Paper and Cardboard

  • Newspaper: gets recycled back into newspaper
  • Magazines, glossy print papers, phone books, envelopes, letters, paper packaging, standard office paper
  • recycling
  • Drink cartons with waxy lining
  • Corrugated cardboard: looks like this
  • Do not include: carbon paper, stickers, laminated paper and cardboard, food or grease stained wrappers and napkins


Fortunately, most communities allow you to throw all your plastics into the same bin to be sorted by the recycling center. It is important when buying products to understand the challenges for recycling. Recycle by numbers is a great article about what the numbers mean in content and recycling.

Please take the time to sort your recyclables from your regular trash, every effort makes a difference.