My Gen X self loveloveloves recycling. I remember celebrating Earth Day in junior high and a dozen years later being so excited moving into my first house and having weekly recycling pick up. Related, I still cut up the ring things from 6 packs. Save the turtles from our trash, am I right? If you're with me on the recycling train (I also love trains! Amtrak forevers), this post is for you.
I have some clients who want to recycle everything, even when what they want to recycle isn’t on the approved list for the city. I follow their lead because it is their house and we never let perfect keep us away from good enough. AND ALSO, for you who want to be in alignment with what the city can actually process, I suggest you look up your city’s recycle rules. As the Dallas county site says, “When non-recyclables are mixed into the recycling bins, it can turn the whole container from recyclables to trash.” In their effort to help the planet, they’ve made their entire recycle bin into another trash bin.
I looked at my big 4 counties (Dallas, Denton, Collin, Tarrant) and while they have small differences, all of them say:
~~Recycle paper, cardboard, cartons, metal cans, glass bottles/jars, and plastic containers (all take #1-5 and #7 plastics, some take #6 too)
~~Rinse and dry your recycling BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. It would be something if we used up gallons and gallons of water perfectly cleaning recycled items in our effort to help the planet. Empty it, quick rinse it, let it dry, put the lid back on if it has one, then dump it in the recycle bin.
~~None of them accept any thin plastics, including grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, and/or those cushion things that come in our Amazon boxes. You have to take those to the grocery store to be recycled.
~~None of them accept shredded paper, paper smaller than the size of a postcard, single use paper like paper towels/Kleenex, Styrofoam, plastic utensils, hangers, e-waste, or batteries.
If your goal is for the things you put in the recycle bin to actually be recycled, gotta follow the rules, ok? Ok.
Recycle away, friends!