Imagine yourself walking in the mall with a can of soda in your hand. There’s still a tiny bit of drink left but you’ve had enough and you decide to toss it.
You see a green recycling bin and think to yourself, “I can throw it here since it’s recyclable.” So, you do.
Unfortunately, although your heart was in the right place, your knowledge about recycling is wrong. You are what is known as an aspirational recycler. You put trash in the recycle bins, thinking that they belong there when they actually don’t. You may be harming rather than helping recycling efforts.
WHY IT’S WRONG
An aspirational recycler throws something into the recycling bin, hoping that someone will sort it out later. Unfortunately, doing that can cause problems at the recycling facility.
TRASH THESE NOW
Some items which you definitely shouldn't recycle are wax-coated coffee cups; greasy food containers, plastic bags, batteries and electronics, heat-treated glass, cutlery, hangers, medicine bottles, aerosol cans, shredded paper, fireworks or flares, needles, cables, wires, rubber, and yard waste.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The best thing you can do if you are unsure of recycling is to do it less. Instead, focus on reducing and reusing first. But if you really must recycle, make sure to research on how to do it right.