You may notice that several of the following tips are about what you cannot put in the recycling cart.
That is because these materials either have no value in the commodities market or they cannot be sorted with current technology.
Click here to download the 2022 Green Guide — and please follow these guidelines to recycle right!
FROZEN FOOD BOXES
Paperboard boxes that were designed for freezer foods, such as frozen pizza and entrées, are impregnated with a plastic polymer to protect against freezer burn.
The plastic prevents the box from breaking up in the recycling process. These materials are not recyclable or compostable.
NAPKINS, PAPER TOWELS & PAPER PLATES
Also not recyclable, though you can compost them if you have the means. Otherwise throw them in the trash, or better yet, use reusable plates and cloth napkins.
Thermal receipts have a plastic component and do not pulp the same as other paper, so they are NOT recyclable and need to go in the trash.
Furthermore, BPA (bisphenol A) remains in the fibers, which we do not want in recycled paper products like paper towels or tissue boxes! They should not be composted or burned either,
because both processes release BPA into the environment — soil or air.
Ask at the front-end of a transaction if they can NOT print the receipt.
Please place receipt in the trash, not the recycling.
Do not put any kind of plastic bags in your curbside recycling cart at all — full or empty!
Place recyclables in the cart loose. Plastic bags cause damage to equipment at sorting facilities.
Additionally, do not put bags of plastic bags in the cart thinking they will get recycled; they won’t. Instead keep them clean, dry, and empty and take them to a grocery store for recycling.
PLASTICS BOTTLES, TUBS, JUGS & JARS
Recycle these four shapes of plastic only: bottles, tubs, jugs and jars.
Forget the number; it only tells you the resin type and does not mean it is recyclable.
Tub = a dimensional, wide-mouthed container that has a bottom and sides higher than 1-inch.
If your plastic object is not one of these shapes, do not recycle it. Do not recycle plastic utensils, plastic wrap, plastic packaging or plastic toys.
Cardboard should always be flattened for recycling, including tissue and cereal boxes (paperboard) and delivery boxes (corrugated cardboard).
Cut the tape, flatten, and fold into a size that fits in the cart. If they are too big, cut them down with a box cutter.
Place them neatly in the cart so they will slide out smoothly. Do not jam them in.
CUPS, LIDS, STRAWS & UTENSILS
Nope. Not recyclable.
Please throw all of these things in the trash, or better yet avoid buying things served with single use throw-away service ware.
These are a hybrid of materials, and while convenient, are just not environmentally friendly.
Here is the best practice:
Plastic cups can be nested, as in stacked inside of each other tightly, and can be recycled through a mail in program, which makes them into plastic lumber. See recycleacup.com.
Foil tops can be saved up in bulk and then wrapped in a sheet of aluminum foil, squeezed lightly into a ball shape — just enough to hold it together but not too tightly — about the size of a baseball, and then placed in your curbside recycling.
Grounds and filters can be composted in a backyard compost OR can be thrown in the trash. Reusable filters can be found on cafe-brew.com. Or use a French press, which is zero waste, and you can compost the grounds!
FLEXIBLE PLASTIC PACKAGING
Many products come in plastic wrappers, pouches, or thin formed plastic — none of which are recyclable.
For example, chip or popcorn bags and candy wrappers; those handy new zip-top stand up pouches for snacks, rice, cereal; and the formed plastic packaging you need a knife or scissors to get into, all of which should go into the trash.
Avoid buying products in these kinds of packaging if possible!
SOURCE: Kane County Green Guide 2022