What exactly is recycling 

Recycling is the process of converting certain used and discarded materials into new materials and objects. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials. Recycling reduces energy usage, air pollution – from incineration and water pollution – from landfilling. It makes our environment cleaner and the air is fresher to breathe!

Here is a list of things that to your surprise cannot be recycled:

Shredded paper – Shredding paper destroys its natural fibres. If recycled, it will not hold its shape well anymore.

Paper and/or Cardboard Food Containers – Grease and food residue significantly affect the quality of paper and cardboard materials. The recycling machines may jam from the grease and other substances on the materials. If you eliminate the parts contaminated with food, a clean box can be recycled. Some Examples of these are pizza boxes, paper takeout containers, and used paper plates. 

Paper cup and drink cartons – Just like food containers, these are stained with organic matter and are, therefore, unfit to be recycled. Most of the time these drinking containers are lined with plastic which are non-recyclable.

Paper towels, napkins, and tissue products – These are considered contaminated and not suitable for recycling. The culprit can be a lot of reasons, from food residues, body fluids, hygiene materials, and even toilet use. 

Disposable nappies – These single-use items that are contaminated by human waste. They are also made from composite materials. The mix of materials and the contamination with human waste make them almost impossible to recycle.

Ceramics – Ceramics are not recyclable. Do not throw your broken china, crockery, or kitchenware in with your glass in the recycling. They may seem similar to glass which is recyclable, however this is not the case.

Loose bottle caps – Although plastic bottles are recyclable, loose bottle caps are not. The bottle caps are often too small for the recycling machines. Also, some bottle caps are often not even made out of the same type of plastic.

Grocery plastic bags – Majority of the thin single-use bags we find at supermarkets are not suitable for recycling. Grocery bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are too thin for the machines as they wrap around the machine parts and can potentially stop it from working. Thicker plastic bags, however, the ones made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) can be recycled.