Frequently Asked Questions About Recycling (FAQs)
1. May I put my recyclables out in the rain? Won't they get ruined?
Don't worry about the rain. Put the glass and plastic in first, put mixed paper (if your hauler excepts it) in next and your newspaper flat on top. The top layer will absorb the rain and will eventually dry out.
2. My garage flooded during the winter and some corrugated cardboard boxes waiting to be recycled got wet. Can they still be recycled?
It depends on how dirty they got. If there was dirt on the floor and the boxes got dirty as well as wet, you should throw them out. In order for corrugated cardboard to be reused, it has to be clean. If you are in doubt, throw the boxes out. There is no sense in contaminating the whole load.
3. Do I have to remove the labels from my bottles and cans?
No. Glass labels may be left on. If you wash your glass jars in the dishwasher, however, you should remove the labels first in order to avoid causing damage to the dishwasher. Metal can labels can be left on as well, but they usually come off quite easily y when the cans are rinsed. The labels can then be tossed in with your mixed paper.
4. I know that I can't recycle cardboard boxes that have been contaminated with food. But how about dishwashing detergent boxes? Can they be recycled with my mixed paper?
No. They are made with special wet strength cardboard to keep the contents dry. That makes them unsuitable for recycling.
5. I have noticed that some cardboard boxes for aluminum foil or plastic wrap have a metal tearing strip. Can I recycle them?
Yes, but only if you rip the metal foil strip off first. Be careful not to get hurt. Recycling isn't worth an injury. Toss the metal strip into your recycling bin with your bottles and cans.
6. I like to send Christmas cards with gold lined envelopes, can they be recycled?
No. Any paper mixed with foil should not be recycled. If recycling is important to you, buy another type of card.
7. I recently heard that the paper cartons that beer cans are packaged in can't be recycled. How about soda?
It isn't whether the packaging contains beer or soda that defines recyclability, but with the weight the cardboard is designed to carry. Generally 6-pack carriers can be recycled, but 12-packs can't. To increase its strength, the paper for the 12-packs has been treated with paraffin which contaminates it.
8. I have noticed that some plastic bags now have numbers printed on them. If they are No. 1 and No. 2, may I include them with the plastic bottles in my recycling bin?
No. Even though they are technically recyclable, do not put them in your bin! To separate the plastics from other recyclables, the CRRA blows the material into cages which can get clogged. Plastic bags may be recycled at stores which accept them.