Five Common Recycling Myths for National Recycling Day

Today is National Recycling Day.  Here are five common MYTHS about recycling . . .

1.  “You can put electronics in the recycling bin.”  No.  The lithium-ion batteries in smartphones and other electronics can explode and catch on fire.  You CAN recycle electronics, but they must go to a specialty facility that knows how to handle them.

2.  “Plastic bags are recyclable.”  This one is a little complicated, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that recycling facilities just don’t want them because they’re difficult to separate from other recyclables and can clog up the equipment.

But keep in mind, that’s only for traditional plastic shopping bags.  Other types of plastic bags like sandwich bags and one-gallon freezer bags CAN be recycled, as long as you snip the zipper off first.

3.  “Separating trash from recyclables isn’t important.”  Just like with plastic bags, garbage can also clog up the recycling equipment, so it IS important to separate trash and recyclables.

4.  “An item can only be recycled once.”  It’s true that plastic has a fairly short recycling life, but glass and metals like aluminum cans can be recycled over and over.

5.  “Stuff you recycle must be in good condition.”  A common myth is that you can’t recycle a soda can if you crush it.  But most recyclables just get melted or compressed into pellets at the recycling center anyway, so it’s fine.

The one exception is broken glass, but only because it can be dangerous for the people who collect your recyclables.

(National Today / Popular Mechanics)