What Can and Cannot be Recycled

The average household recycling bin is usually filled with the same types of materials – newspapers, soda cans and water bottles, to name a few. But there are many other household items that can be added to the recycling effort, as well.

When opening a bottle of wine, be sure to save the cork. While cork cannot be thrown in the recycling bin along with the empty glass bottle, corks can be taken to a grocery chain like Whole Foods that works with recycling companies to properly dispose of cork products.

Another product that can be put to good use is the aluminum tab from a can of soda. The Ronald McDonald House collects tabs from soda cans, brings them to local recycling centers, and turns those little pieces of aluminum into funds into support to provide housing and care for pediatric patients. HopeLine collects wireless devices, chargers and batteries from old phones and recycles them to support domestic violence victims and organizations. Check out Woman’s Day for more surprising items that can be recycled.

Contrary to popular belief, some materials cannot be recycled. Pizza boxes, despite being made of cardboard, cannot be recycled due to food grease. Plastic bags cannot be recycled, which is why many cities are starting to ban the use of plastic bags at retail locations. Styrofoam containers are also not accepted by city recyclers.