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What Materials Can be Recycled?

Have you ever notice that there are two trashcans in the facilities? One says recyclable; the other is regular trash. It makes you wonder why people would go through the hassle of separating the trash.

The goal of recycling is to save the planet. If you find this endeavor interesting, you are probably wondering what materials can be recycled. Continue reading to learn more about recycling.

Why Is It Necessary To Recycle?

Recycling helps with waste management, but it also serves a bigger purpose. Here are reasons why people should recycle:

Diverts Waste From Landfills

It is critical to divert as much waste as possible from landfills. All of the things we create originate from precious and scarce resources. We want to retain as much of it as possible for future use.

Recycling Decreases Our Reliance on Virgin Raw Resources

The cost of extracting raw resources from the environment is high. It also consumes a significant amount of water and energy.

Conserve Energy

Recycling conserves a significant amount of energy. Each year, recyclers throughout the nation save the energy equivalent to that required to power 14 million households for a whole year. That is the equivalent of shutting off the power for an entire year in one out of every ten households.

Recycling Helps To Mitigate the Pollution

Extraction of raw minerals may result in significant pollution. Because more recycling results in less extraction, it also results in decreased pollution. Even better, when we recycle more, we reduce waste sent to the landfills.




Decomposing material in landfills often releases methane. This is a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

What Materials Can Be Recycled?

After understanding why you should recycle, the next step is knowing which materials are recyclable. Here are items that you should recycle:


What materials can be recycled
What materials can be recycled


Newspapers are one of the most easily recycled materials. This may result in saving up to 60% of the energy needed to manufacture fresh new newspapers.


Paper accounts for one-third of all municipal trash. It is one of the most easily recycled materials. Ensure that all waste paper, from old documents to junk mail and everything in between, ends up in the recycling bin.

Glamourous Magazines and Advertisements

You should recycle magazines, even those with full color and a high glossy finish. This also applies to coupon fliers and ads that.


Sending one ton of cardboard to a recycling facility may save more than nine cubic yards of landfill space. It can also save 24% of the energy needed to manufacture new cardboard.



Plastic Bottles

PET plastic can make water, drink, and juice bottles. Every hour, people discard 2.5 million plastic bottles. Recycling them can benefit the environment.

Plastic Products

Recycle thicker plastic bottles such as shampoo, detergent, and similar products. These bottles should be thoroughly cleaned with their plastic caps removed and destroyed.




Aluminum is an excellent option for recycling since it maintains its characteristics forever. This process consumes 95% less energy than manufacturing brand new cans. Recycling aluminum reduces the need for new aluminum mining, which benefits the environment.


Steel is an excellent recyclable metal. Several canned goods, including fruits, vegetables, soups, and coffee, get packed in steel (“tin”) cans. Rinse them well before recycling.




Glass containers used to package food and beverages are 100 percent recyclable. They may be in place of up to 95% of raw materials to manufacture new glass goods.


Some recyclers incorporate organic materials in their normal services. Some examples are yard and kitchen trash. While others provide seasonal organics recycling, such as Christmas trees.


Several charities and nonprofit groups collect textiles such as clothing and shoes. These places are often found in supermarket parking lots or at the organizations’ own commercial premises. What the organizations are unable to reuse, they usually sell to private textile companies.

What Qualifies as Recyclable

In order to be recyclable, it must follow three criteria. These criteria are:

Recycling Technology Must Exist

The first question is if the technology exists to convert the material from which the product is produced into raw material. You want to make sure the raw material reused again in the manufacturing process.

If no recycling technology exists for a specific material, consider upcycling. When an object is upcycled, it gets repurposed as the same or a comparable product.

Is There a Buyer?

People overlook the fact that recycling is a business. Nearly everything is recyclable as long as there is a market for it.

This end-buyer must be within a reasonable distance of the materials.

If it’s too far, the cost of procuring the materials will be high. The company making the purchase will obtain the same type of raw material from a closer location.

Economics Must Be Beneficial to the Processor

Most materials recovery facilities (MRFs) employ people to separate plastics. This implies that while determining what may be recyclable, it is vital to keep in mind that MRFs must achieve a specific critical mass. This is to economically recover a given material.

Consider polypropylene, a biodegradable plastic packaging material. Post-consumer polypropylene prefers it in baled form. This is because it can be:

  • Cut
  • Cleaned
  • Heated
  • Pelletized

These degradation methods help create new goods such as reusable:

  • Lunchboxes
  • Containers
  • Yogurt
  • Soft drink bottle caps
  • Margarine tubs

While polypropylene is extensively used in packaging, it has historically had a low presence in the stream of commodities arriving into MRFs. If an MRF does not get a significant amount of polypropylene in its single-stream feedstock, it may not be economically viable to recover it.

European Recycling Data

In Norway and Switzerland, the data indicates that within 27 million post-consumer plastic trash:

  • 41.6 percent were from waste
  • 31.1 percent recycled
  • 27.3 percent ended up in a landfill
This translates to a total of 72.7 percent recovered in 2016, compared to 69.2 percent in 2014.

Recycling Myths

Develop your recycling IQ by dispelling common misconceptions. You can have a better planet and better practice by knowing facts from fiction.

Discover the truth behind the misconceptions and guarantee that you recycle correctly to safeguard the environment.

Most European Recycle Everything

You will need convenience and commitment for optimal recycling. For example, do you recycle in more than one area of your home? If you recycle only in the kitchen, you can discard recyclables in the home office or bathroom.

Therefore, make recycling a collaborative activity in which everyone contributes. This is to maximize the recycling of the appropriate materials.

The Presence of Recycling Arrows on a Container Indicates That It Is 100% Recyclable

Only in some instances because you can’t recycle several plastics. Sort plastics into their respective shapes: bottles, jars, jugs, and tubs.

Containers Must Be Spotless To Be Recyclable

Containers should be clean, but it doesn’t have to be spotless.

The objective is to keep them clean enough not to contaminate other items. Scrape cans and jars with a spatula and place recyclables in the sink and wash.

If the Item Is Not Thrown Away, It Will Be Sorted

This is not true because items that are not recyclable contaminate recyclables. Recycling materials encased in plastic bags risk never making it through the recycling process. On the other hand, recyclable goods put in trash bins will transfer to landfills and cannot be successfully retrieved.

The proper way is to place them in a recycling container. You can place non-recyclables in the trash container. The most impactful recyclables are bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard.

Recyclable Materials Include Hoses, Tanks, Shower Curtains, and Swing Sets

Just because something is plastic does not automatically make it recyclable in your recycling program. If it is not made of bottles, cans, paper, or cardboard, it does not belong in your recycling container. Just because an object is plastic or includes plastic components does not guarantee it can be recyclable.

Glass Bottles and Jars of All Shapes and Sizes Are Recyclable

Glass is not accepted in all recycling schemes. Some places will separate glass from other recyclables. It is also collected in its own container. Some cities have designated glass recycling drop-off sites.

Aerosol Cans Are Recyclable

The reality is that it differs according to jurisdiction. Most recycling programs accept empty aerosol cans that are dry without the caps. If the can is not emptied, it may be hazardous.

What Items Are Not Recyclable?

While it is vital to understand what can be recycled , but you should also know what can’t be recycled.

The following is a list of items that are not recyclable:

  • Greasy, oily paper
  • Used paper towels, tissues, and diapers
  • Broken ceramics, light bulbs, and mirrors
  • Plastic bags, shrink wrap, and bubble wrap are all examples of film plastics
  • Styrofoam sometimes called expanded polystyrene (EPS)
  • E-waste (e-waste)
  • Debris from construction and demolition (C&D), including concrete and drywall
  • Carrier stock; the paper wrapping that surrounds beverage can packs

Check if your city has an organics collection program. If it does, you may be able to compost grease paper, used paper towels, and tissues. Again, contact your municipal or local recycling center to see what materials you can recycle.

How To Deliver Recyclables?

The more items get deliver to the recycling center, the better off the environment will be. These items listed above should always be recyclable from both your house and your company.


Under-floor feed conveyor


When in doubt, check with your local municipality to verify how and where these items should be recycled. If you need help transferring recyclable items or understanding what materials can be recycled, get support from us today.