You’re Doing Your Winter Recycling Wrong

We all know that recycling is generally good practice, but it’s one of those things where it’s not just the thought that matters. If you recycle incorrectly , the items you are trying to save for reuse may become worthless. Particularly during the winter, there are certain seasonal disposal rules that you may not be aware of.

Wash baskets and containers

During the winter, rinse containers and bins well, then turn them upside down and let them dry completely before putting any recyclables in them. According to AccuWeather , this will prevent ice buildup, which in turn can cause recycled materials to stick together.

Arrange recyclables in the correct order

Don’t throw all your paper or plastic products in the trash and don’t give up on it – at least not in bad weather. Wind can rip lighter, looser materials off the top of the pile, which can lead to unintentional litter – the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve with recycling.

Instead, take the time to put heavy items on top before emptying the bin. And don’t take it out and leave it overnight, certified recycling advises. Try to take out the trash on the morning of your pickup day so it doesn’t stay outside all night.

Place your bags and bins in a safe place

AccuWeather also says you should be more picky about where you put your trash cans in the winter. Snow clearing areas are certainly dangerous, but even placing bags or tied cardboard on icy areas is a bad idea, as they can freeze in place.

Take care of holiday decor and trash

When you’re cleaning up after the holidays, don’t just stick the tree to the curb and throw the old light bulbs in the trash. Check with your local waste department for their policies on the disposal of these items. For example, your local department can mulch trees and wreaths, and old lanterns can be recycled by scrap metal companies, so give them a call too.

Finally, according to Earth Day 365 , don’t try to recycle any packaging materials or wrapping paper: that means no stickers, styrofoam, and bubble wrap. You can, of course, recycle cardboard boxes.


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