I recycle cardboard boxes, my milk bottles, Diet Coke cans, and all the rest. But there are so many items in the gray area that sometimes it is difficult to know what to do. So many items that can be recycled end up in the trash because people do not know that can be recycled.

recycle cans, paper, metal

Recycling is important for our environment, so be sure to do it, and do it right! Here are a few tips for recycling properly that you might not have known:

1. Although some locations accept plastics #1-#7, each local center is different. Check with your program to see which types of plastics it accepts.

2. Do not recycle plastic bags, and do not recycle anything in a plastic bag. Plastic bags are contaminants! Scrap metal, hazardous waste, diapers, flattened containers, shredded paper also should not be recycled. You should also check to make sure that the cap on the bottle you are recycling can be recycled. If not, be sure to remove the cap.

3. There are many non-recyclable glasses, including Ceramic, china, dishes, mirrors, light bulbs, Pyrex, porcelain and window glass. Recyclable glass generally refers to jars and glass bottles!

4. The following can be recycled: clear glass containers, colored glass containers, high-grade office paper, newsprint, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel and bi-metallic parts, certain plastics. Be sure to contact your local program for special instructions.

There are also other things to do for the environment, other than recycling!

1. Reuse_If you have plastic bags from shopping, reuse them as garbage bags, storage bags, bags for wet clothing and more! Reusing plastic water and soda bottles has been very controversial, specifically in regards to causing cancer, but you can buy reusable bottles! You can also buy reusable bags for when you go shopping.

2. Reduce_Limit the amount of waste you throw away. Avoid buying items with packaging that can only be thrown away.

3. Compost_Compost your food and other trash that can be used as compost. Do not use bones, meat, eggs (although egg shells are okay), cheese, and other dairy products or oils in the compost.

If you don’t do any of these things already, be sure to start! Talk to your parents and family members about being environmentally conscious!