10 Tips to Recycle More Every Day

Recycling saves resources, reduces GHG emissions, saves energy, supports a circular economy, and creates jobs.

At Keep America Beautiful®, one of our primary goals is to improve recycling. Here are 10 ways you can improve your recycling behavior to help increase our recycling rate. Always check your local recycling regulations to ensure your community accepts certain items before placing them into a recycling bin.

DID YOU KNOW…

  1. Half is better than none.
    • Only the non-greasy parts of your pizza box are recyclable. If the bottom half is too cheesy to be salvaged, tear off the top (as long as it’s grease-free) and recycle it.
  2. You bet your bottle tops . . . you can recycle them.
    • The caps on your plastic bottles are recyclable, too. Empty your bottle, screw the cap back on, and place it in your recycling bin.
  3. Plastic bag and film recycling: More than grocery bags.
    • Along with plastic film grocery bags, recycle the bags from your dry cleaning, bread, and newspaper. Remember to take clean, dry bags to recycling centers or retailers with plastic bag recycling bins; do not place them in your curbside or apartment building recycling bins. Plastic bags and film that are placed in the bin can tangle the machinery at the materials recycling facility.
  4. A trick up your sleeve!
    • Paper cups aren’t always recyclable because of the wax or plastic lining, but don’t forget to recycle the cardboard sleeve!
  5. Look beyond the daily paper.
    • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, paper and cardboard are America’s most recycled materials by weight. In addition to newspaper, most communities accept corrugated cardboard, as well as cereal and tissue boxes, junk mail, catalogs, and phone books.

MAKE RECYCLING A HABIT

  1. Close the loop.
    • The recycling process doesn’t stop at the bin! After materials are processed and back on the shelf as new items, it is up to you to buy products made from recycled materials. Look for products and packaging with recycled content (and efficient packaging) to do your part as a recycling-conscious consumer.
  2. Recycle on the go.
    • Keep two bags in your car – one for your trash, and one for recyclables. Pre-sorting makes it easier to transfer your recyclables into a recycling bin once you’ve reached your destination.
  3. Recycling: It’s not just in the kitchen.
    • Don’t trash your detergent and shampoo bottles just because you don’t have a bin in your bathroom or laundry room! Keep a bag or small bin for collecting recyclables under the sink or take a few extra steps to put your empty bottles in the recycling bin.
  4. Reduce and Reuse.
    • By reusing products and minimizing trash, we help reduce our impact on the planet and our natural resources.
  5. Know your limits.
    • Putting materials in your recycling bin that aren’t collected in your community contaminates the recycling process and creates extra work for recycling facility employees. To recycle items that your local program does not collect, check BeRecycled.org to find where they may be recycled in your community

Take the #BeRecycled Pledge to show your commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling today and every day. By educating and engaging individuals to recycle properly, we can work together to help make recycling more economically viable, create jobs, and provide recyclables to manufacture new products and packaging, while continuing to reap greater environmental and community benefits.