We are a metals recycler. Not that we don’t think about recycling in general, but for the most part, we’re pretty busy counting tons and tons of metals, and determining where the heck to store it until it’s time to go. The reality is though, as Arizonians, we pride ourselves on conservation efforts such as water conservation, light pollution and yes, all forms of recycling in general, not just ferrous and non-ferrous metals. So we did our research and we found what not to recycle. I know at the end of the day, we were a bit shocked, but then again, we have been sorting metals forever, why would we expect anything else from the rest of the recycling industry, but here goes!
First thing to understand is, if you use the blue recycling bins, you may be recycling 90% on the money, but that last 10% where you threw in some left over McDonald’s or maybe a pizza slice or two, you have ruined that whole bin of possible recyclables and turned it into a bin of trash. That came as a shock to us, but it shouldn’t have..just like laundry or scrap metal, separate everything.
Plastic bags from Fry’s, Basha’s or wherever you shop are a huge no no, and we didn’t know know. Shopping bags and other plastic films — such as sandwich baggies, dry-cleaning bags or trash bags — can get stuck in recycling equipment, forcing repairs and stopping recycling production. While plastic films or soft plastics aren’t allowed in city containers, they can be recycled in bins found near the entrance of many grocery stores. Reusable shopping bags are another alternative, and some grocers give discounts for using them.
Want another shocker, pizza boxes. I’ve been folding my pizza boxes forever and dropping or stuffing them in the blue bin forever. Until now, it seems as though cardboard though recyclable, that was used for transporting hot or cold foods, is off the list. These forms of cardboard are not recyclable, but wax coated ones are.
Lastly, we have a bit of a confusing one (although at this point, they have all perplexed me) Styrofoam..can’t burn it, can’t recycle it. Nope good ol’ Styrofoam should not be added to the blue bins after all, it’s useless for recycling purposes.
So we’ve run into some hiccups, don’t let that stop you though, because if you get it wrong, they’ll stop for you.