Environmental Investigations: How to Recycle

Halle Goldsmith, Writer

Recycling is one of the many little things that you can do to help the crisis involving the environment. 

Although, people often recycle the wrong things the wrong way. There are certain guidelines to follow in order to recycle cans, bottles, paper, and more. 

First, the recycling of paper and cardboard is pretty straight forward. Make sure that the cardboard boxes are broken down and flattened before you put them in the recycling bin. Magazines and other paper products are okay to recycle, as long as they have no bubble wrap/plastic on them and they’re not contaminated by food or drinks. 

Metal cans are where it gets a little tricky. To recycle a metal can, all plastic or paper labels have to be removed and drained of any excess liquid. Before recycling, take notice of the recycling sign on the can. If there isn’t one, it has to be thrown out. Recyclable items don’t need to be cleaned up, but they need to be empty and dry. 

Only certain types of plastic are good to recycle. Hard plastic, like on milk jugs, can be recycled, but plastic bags cannot be. Again, check for the recycling sign on the plastic product before recycling it. 

Recyclables cannot be bundled or bagged when recycled. Every item needs to be put in the recycling bin individually. Plastic bags get caught in the machinery, which delays or damages the equipment. Other bundled recyclables end up in a landfill, which is ultimately horrible for the environment. Runoff from landfills seep toxic chemicals into the water supply and release high levels of methane. 

Check out more at the Franklin Recycling Center website.