Have you ever wondered why recycling is so complicated? Make sure you’re not making any big recycling mistakes. Compared to many other states, New Jersey offers a robust recycling program. Many curbside recycling programs pick up glass, paper, and plastic products. However, plastic recycling in New Jersey can be complex. You think that plastic with the recycling symbol will be recyclable. It is, but it may not be something your curbside provider handles.
Many people deal with the confusion by throwing anything potentially recyclable into their recycling bins. The idea is that it will be sorted out at the disposal facility. Unfortunately, that is not always true. Instead, material that goes to the wrong transfer station or plant may end up in a landfill. If you want to optimize your recycling, you want to avoid these common recycling mistakes.
- Using curbside recycling for materials they do not take. Check with your curbside waste disposal company to find out what products they take. You need to do more than find out what materials they take; you also need to find out what types they take. This is especially true for plastics. Find out what numbers of plastic they take.
- Avoiding recycling because it is complicated. Any little bit helps, when it comes to recycling. Take the time to find out what items are easily recycled and, at the very least, include those in your at-home recycling program. It may take a little effort, but it will probably save you money in the long run!
- Assuming that your recycling rules are the same as those for people in other townships. In New Jersey, different counties and municipalities have different recycling rules. They all have to comply with state laws, but they use different providers to meet those guidelines. The result is that your recycling rules could be very different from those of a friend in the next town. Check with your municipality to find out your rules.
- Not separating your recycling. Some areas have single stream recycling, which means that you can put all of your recycling in one container. Other areas require you to separate them. If you have dual stream recycling, make sure and separate your recyclables so they do not end up in a landfill.
- Not paying attention to recycling numbers. Different types of plastic have to undergo different processes to be recycled into raw materials. The number surrounded by arrows tells you what type of plastic you have. In most places in New Jersey, only some types of plastic are recycled. Check the material type before tossing your plastic into the recycling!