Why Is Recycling Important?
- It helps slow global warming — recycling cuts both emissions from transporting garbage and greenhouse gases released from landfills
- It’s good for the economy and creates jobs
- Recycling protects wildlife and saves the environment
- It reduces water pollution
- Recycling preserves landfill space
The symbol below is the generic universal recycling symbol:
Recycling Bins: What Goes In Them?
Here are the items that belong in a recycling bin — make sure these items are CLEAN. Dirty plastic bottles or pizza boxes can cause thousands of recyclable materials to go into landfills instead of being recycled. Make sure to check out what doesn’t go in the recycling bin below, as recycling can be a little complicated!
- Aluminium (cans and foil)
- Steel cans (soup cans, pet cans, EMPTY aerosols)
- Cardboard and paper (Egg cartons, toilet rolls, greeting cards, newspapers, phone books, junk mail, pizza boxes, books, calendars)
- Glass (glass bottles)
- Plastics (food containers like yogurt, condiments, cooking oil bottles, beverage bottles, detergent bottles, shampoo bottles)
What Not To Put In The Recycling Bin
- DIRTY recyclable materials. These will send the whole bag to the landfill
- Metals (scrap metal, foil wrapped drink pouches, tools, pots, and pans)
- Paint cans
- Light bulbs
- Broken glass
- Canning jars
- Eye glasses
- Wine corks
- Plastic bags
- Take-out containers
Recycling Center 101: When To Visit
You can get cash refunds by dropping off cans and glass bottles at your local recycling center. You can also dispose of items like:
- Household appliances
Recycling Center Near Me
Check out I Want To Be Recycled to find a recycling center in your area.
Read more about metal recycling on Green Future. Steel and aluminium cans can be recycled in a green bin, but other metals may need to be taken to a recycling center.
Metal Recycling Near Me
Most recycling centers will offer metal recycling. Search for a recycling center near you, or get in contact with your city for more information.
Electronics can be recycled at your local recycling center.
Cardboard can go into a recycling bin, but make sure that it is clean and all boxes are broken down beforehand.
Concrete can be recycled, but don’t put it in a bin! Get in touch with your county or check out local recycling centers to see which facilities offer concrete recycling.
Scrap Metal Recycling
Scrap metal, and other waste from construction, can usually be taken to a recycling center.
Is Styrofoam Recyclable?
You can read about how to recycle styrofoam here. As it’s a complicated process, avoid styrofoam if you can.
Clean paper can go in the recycling bin.
Do you own Apple products that are now kaput? You don’t even need to schlep them off to the electronic recycling facility. Simply drop them off at your local Apple store, and read more about Apple recycling on their website.
The potential damages of e-waste are shocking. Drop off e-waste at your local electronic recycling facility.
See "electronic waste."
Tires can be recycled at a recycling center.
You can recycle for cash. Search for local recycling coupons, and get paid while you’re saving the planet.
- Recycling is the top action you can do that will directly help wildlife, the environment, and marine conservation, and you'll help boost the economy and increase American jobs
- Recycling makes a major contribution to the prevention of global warming
- If US recycling levels reached 75%, it would be the equivalent of taking 55 million cars off the road
- Currently, US recycling levels are only at 22%
Saving the planet is easier than you think. Think twice before you throw something in the trash.