The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling: Part 1

At my clients’ homes – and even in my own home – there is much confusion about what needs to be recycled in New York City.

The simple answer is:

  • paper and cardboard.
  • beverage cartons, bottles, cans, metal & foil.
  • bulky metal and appliances with CFC gas.

Let me explain what specifically that means. This week, I’ll cover paper and cardboard In coming weeks, I’ll cover the other types of recyclables.

PAPER & CARDBOARD: WHAT TO RECYCLE

YES!  PLACE THESE IN RECYCLING:

  • newspapers, magazines, and catalogs
  • white, colored, and glossy paper (staples OK)
  • mail and envelopes (window envelopes OK)
  • paper bags
  • smooth cardboard
    •  food boxes — but remove inside and outside plastic wrappers
    • shoe boxes
    • tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • cardboard from product packaging
  • corrugated cardboard (flattened boxes)
  • cardboard egg cartons and trays
    • softcover books
    • paperbacks, comic books, etc.
  • NO spiral bindings
  • wrapping paper (remove ribbon and tape)
  • phone books

NO!  PLACE THESE IN TRASH:

  • hardcover books (that’s a surprise, isn’t it?)
  • napkins, paper towels, or tissues
  • soiled paper cups or plates
  • paper soiled with food or liquid
  • paper with a lot of tape and glue
  • plastic- or wax-coated paper (candy wrappers, take-out containers, etc.)
  • photographic paper

HOW TO RECYCLE PAPER & CARDBOARD

Place all paper together in CLEAR bags, or in any bin labeled with green recycling decals or marked “MIXED PAPER”. (Or place in the white dumpster for paper recycling, if your building has one.)

Flatten and bundle large pieces of corrugated cardboard and tie with sturdy twine, or break into small pieces to place in your recycling bin or bag. (Or place loose in the white dumpster for paper recycling, if your building has one.)

NEXT WEEK: some surprises about beverage cartons, bottles, cans, metal, and foil.

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