100 Things you CANNOT recycle (in curbside pick-up)

As always when it comes to recycling, check your city, your state, your region, whatever. Each facility takes different things. Make sure you are properly recycling so that your recycling has the best chance of being recycled and not thrown away.


I wanted to make this video because most people things that everything that is made of plastic, metal, glass, and paper can be recycled. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. Most of these items are just too hard or too dangerous to recycle. I want to make this video to educate you all on how to best dispose of your waste and make sure your recycling doesn’t end up in landfill, because that is where it goes if you don’t recycle properly and probably why our recycling rate is so low.



Why is recycling important? Keeping things out of landfill is a clear bonus, PLUS it is SO important to reuse product we already have and materials we already have before extracting new resources. This planet only has so many resources to go around, so the more we recycled, the less resources we run out of. Unfortunately, these items CANNOT be recycled easily. Some companies will recycle these items, but that might require you to ship them to companies like terracycle, which is totally fine. But, basically, these are the items you should really avoid. While it is great to ditch all single-use, if you have to use something single-use, try to find something that can at least be recycled instead of thrown away.


And one last thing. I was doing some research for this video and was super surprised at what some articles had to say. Most made sense and you will see below, but I saw things like diapers and dead animals? If you thought those things were recyclable, well you’re wrong. And there’s two bonus one’s for you. Now, let’s just jump right into the list. I will just briefly highlight each item and a bit about why they are not recyclable, but I will not in depth for the sake of time. I will leave some sources linked below if you want to learn more about these materials.


PLASTIC


1. Straws


2. Zipper bags


3. Plastic wrap/cling wrap


4. Bubble wrap


5. Zip ties


6. Bread/tortilla bags


7. Bottle caps


8. Can rings


9. Plastic cutlery


10. Contaminated plastic


11. Candy wrappers


12. Grocery store bags


13. Styrofoam


14. Most places don’t take plastics numbered 3-7


15. Take out containers


16. Plastic envelopes


17. Bioplastics. Yup, they can’t be recycled. I’d like to make a more in-depth video about bioplastics in the future, but really, they are only beneficial if composted correctly


18. Labels on plastic bottles have to be removed, they cannot be recycled


19.Hand soap pumps


20. Plastic gift wrap/bows


21. Food pouches like that for babies


22. Misc food bags like chips, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, and more


23. Bread bag little clip things


24. Animal food bags


25. Plastic shower curtains


26. Some cleaning product bottles, check your products before tossing them in the bin


27. Juice pouches


28. Beauty products like tubes of foundation and mascara


29. Brita filters


30. Lip balm tubes


31. Glitter and other small plastics


32. Solo cups


33. Tape


34. Glue sticks and glue bottles


35. Plastic cards like gift cards


PAPER


36. Receipts


37. Magazines


38. Greasy Pizza boxes


39. Other contaminated paper


40. Napkins, tissues, and paper towels


41. Paper cups


42. Stickers


43. Brightly dyed paper which would stain recycled paper


44. Tetra paks. These are things like milk cartons, juice boxes, broth boxes, etc


45. Wet paper. It is okay if it gets wet, but it must be dry when picked up. Be sure to cover paper when it rains!


46. Photo paper


47. Post-its and other sticky paper


48. The hardcover of a book. It just has to be removed, but the paper can still be recycled


49. Wax/parchment paper


50. Shredded paper


51.Paper bowls and plates


52. Cigarette butts. Though they look like paper, they contain plastic. You can check out this video here from Gittemary who talks about things that contain plastic that you didn’t think did.


53. Paper straws


Though, the good part about most of these paper products, the ones that don’t contain plastic linings, they can be composted instead of thrown away!




METAL


54. Twist ties


55. Contaminated metal


56. E-waste though most cities do have e-waste recycling, it is just not curbside pick-up. Things like phones and batteries


57.Aerosol cans (because of the propellants and chemicals)


58. Wire hangers


59. Kitchen utensils


60. Pots and pans



GLASS


61. Broken glass (as it is hazardous to the workers)


62. Contaminated glass


63. Household glass, things like windows, mirrors, light bulbs, and more


64. Nail polish bottles


65. Wine glasses which may contain lead



MISC


66. Medical supplies like syringes and things like that


67. Mixed materials like this container of oats which is part plastic part paper. Though, what you can do is separate the two to make sure the paper CAN be recycled and the plastic would just be thrown away


68. Kcups, unless they are CLEAN and even then, they are most likely a thin plastic that is hard to recycle


69. Coffee filters


70. Tea bags


71. Things with human waste on them….I’m not going to get into that


72. Ceramics like mugs


73. Hazardous materials like chemicals


74. Clothing, again it CAN be recycled, just not curbside


75. Organic waste, things like food scraps


76. Tires


77. Treated wood


78. Mattresses


79. Medication


80. Shoes


81. Toothpaste tubes are often mixed materials


82. Pens, pencils, and markers


83. Ribbons and bows


84. String, yarn, thread and the like


85. Razors


86. Most children or pet toys


87. Pop sockets and most phone cases


88. Swiffer cleaning pads


89. Balloons


90. Art supplies like paints


91. Athletic items like sports balls


92. Automotive parts like hubcaps


93. Cooking oil


94. Corks


95. Rubber and silicone gloves


96. Face masks


97. Luggage


98. CDs/DVDs


99. Glasses


100. Make-up removal pads and wipes, though if they are 100% cotton they can be composted



Thank you so much for reading along. What else is there that you know of that cannot be recycled in the bin? Don't forget to check out the sister video to this post which is surprising things you can actually recycle (though, still not really in your curbside pickup).

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