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Recycling 101: How to Recycle Your Household Waste

Posted By On March 21 2023
Recycling 101: How to recycle your household waste

We hear this almost every day: “Recycle, reuse, and donate.” However, what does this actually mean for you, and why should you do it?

Recycling has such a huge environmental impact, most of which we typically don’t know about. By recycling the majority of what we would usually throw out, we can cut back on landfills, factory outputs, and the creation of new things, which could easily be made from recycled items.

This process saves big companies money and reduces everyone’s carbon footprint. For example, the following products can all be recycled:

  • Cans: Pasta sauce cans, bean cans, pop cans, and more are broken down and become livestock trailers or new beverage containers.

  • Bottles: Glass or plastic bottles can be transformed into polyester carpet fibres, upholstery, industrial strapping, and even sleeping bag filler.

  • Plastics: These can be melted down to become beverage containers, car parts, pens, and furniture items. 

The other great thing is that most of these items can be recycled repeatedly. Donation and composting are other excellent ways to recycle and are just as impactful on the environment and your wallet.

How does recycling work?

Each week, you fill your blue bin with recyclable materials and leave it outside. What happens afterward, though?

Often, a collection truck comes and picks it up, empties it, and drives away. Or, you take your recycling to a station or marked dumpster in an allocated location. You can then empty your things there and leave. 

Those items are taken to a sorting plant, sorted by category, then melted into sheets of metal, plastic pebbles, or glass sheets, and prepared to go to the industry that can use these materials. 

Melting these materials into something a manufacturer can use reduces their costs and the impact on the atmosphere, with factories making the same from crude or raw materials.

What can be recycled, and what should be donated?

A lot of what we have can be successfully recycled. However, items that have been contaminated, such as paper plates with food refuse on them, cannot. 

Items such as clothing, shoes, and even electronics can be donated or taken to reuse centres so that people in need can benefit from them. So, even if it’s not on a list of particularly needed items, it can still be useful. 

Common recyclable items are paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs, soda cans, tin cans, and unsoiled foil and glass. All these products need to be washed and dried before they’re collected. With drink containers, you also get the added bonus of money back if you take them to a bottle depot.

You should avoid taking batteries, electronics, food, foam, plastic sandwich bags, grocery bags, and single-use items. These need particular disposal, but again, some could be reused. The rest of the items, however, have to go to the landfill.

How to Recycle

With a little planning, it’s easy to form a good habit where recycling and donating become almost second nature. 

If you don’t know where to start, we have included some useful tips that can help point you in the right direction:

Check With Your Local Recycling Centre

Make sure that you know exactly what they will take. Almost everything is recyclable, but there are some items that some centres might not take, so it is worth checking before you start making your plan. 

Create Dedicated Space

You need to be certain that you have the right space to store the items until you are ready to take them or have them collected. This could be an area in the kitchen, basement, or garage. Wherever you choose, though, it needs to be easily accessible and somewhere you go often. That way, you are always reminded to recycle, which also helps to form a great habit.

Boxes vs. Bags

We see many recyclable accessories designed to make it easier for us, but in reality, a normal box will suffice. Most bags are also not recyclable like they claim. In fact, they break down and form hazardous materials in landfills. A cardboard box not only holds your items but is also compostable and can be recycled—a double whammy that greatly helps your environmental impact.

Cleanliness is Essential

Always wash and dry your items as you sort them. This will keep your designated area smell-free and reduces contamination, thus allowing more things to be recycled properly. It also makes them nicer to handle.

Donations and Reusable Items

Make sure to set aside a space to store donated items, such as clothes, shoes, or those frying pans people keep giving you. Once you have a few full boxes, take them to a donation centre. 

Items such as radios, speakers, and old computers can go to reuse centres. There, they are broken down for parts, repaired, or donated to local schools for projects. If there is no reuse centre in your area, an eco-station will take and dispose of them properly.

Recycle Renovation Waste

Renovations of any kind will create refuse. Even for the avid recycler, with renovations, you just can’t avoid such waste.  

However, that doesn’t mean everything will still find its way to the landfill. 

With dumpsters and disposal bins in Toronto, you can have all your refuse taken away and be assured, knowing it will go to the right places. 

Scarborough Disposal Ltd. takes the environment and refuse collection seriously. From ensuring you have the right bin to offering collection and pick-up dates when needed, we’re here for you. 

Reach out today and speak to one of our professional team members. They will take your project seriously, help you get the right bin, and advise you on what can be recycled and how to dispose of the rest.

Call us at 416-265-7979 or contact us here. We look forward to assisting you in your recycling journey.

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