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Some Recycling Facts or Fiction Myths to Consider

Updated on July 6, 2011

Recycling home product waste is not a new concept. Here in Southern California, our waste management service company provides three recycle containers to dump garbage: regular trash, green (as in grass trimmings, weeds, etc), and a recyclable bin.

If you're like me, at first, I was only recycling stuff I have from the kitchen. I'm well aware of glass recycling and things like soda popcans, empty bottled water, plastic spoons, plastic bags from groceries, soup cans, etc.

But there are other places in the house that I forget or simply did not think about when it comes to recycling. Tale the bathroom for example. It has plenty of recyclable materials such as toothbrush, empty toothpaste tubes, razors, etc. In the past, I use to simply throw away these items at the bathroom trash can. And that can of refuse gets thrown in the regular trash bin. But it contains recyclables! And it wasn't until I spoke to a waste management representative at a local fair that I had began minding my own habits at home.

Here are some recycling facts or fictions to keep in mind:

Fiction: Washing is necessary when recycling glass, bottles, cans, and jars

Fact: This is not necessary.  Part of the process in glass recycling such as jars and bottles is washing residue at the recycling center.  There is no need to use water from your home.  Having said that, it is also not a good idea to dump a half-filled jar of mayonnaise in the recyclable bin.  It should be emptied, then dumped.  But not thoroughly washed.

Fiction: In paper recycling, only white paper is recyclable

Fact: Almost all form of paper goods are recyclable.  In fact, cardboard recycling, including boxes, is a big niche industry.  Other paper goods such as posters, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, notebooks, books, sticky notes, and labels can be recycled as well.

Fiction: Recyclables materials that are dumped in the regular trash bins are pulled out before reaching the landfills

Fact:  Pretty much anything that is thrown in the regular trash bin is dumped at the landfills.  Too much resource are required to pull recyclables every trip.  Hence, that's why recycling bins are provided in the first place.


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