The truth is that there are many materials that can be recycled, but the most common items for recycling are paper, plastic, glass, and metal.
Unfortunately, plastics are problematic when it comes to recycling since not all types are suitable for the recycling process. But the other three are almost 100 percent recyclable.
Plastic Recycling Still Matters, However
Granted, there are issues with plastic recycling. Not all plastics are created equal and, as it turns out, not all plastics recycle well.
Take plastic bags, for example.
Plastic bags can be recycled, but not with other recyclables. And plastic bags are not accepted at most municipal pickup sites and they are often not picked up in curbside bins. This is because of the nature of thin plastic film that they are made with.
Plastic bags wrap up on plastic sorting equipment in recycling facilities. This means that workers have to crawl in the machines and cut out the bags. That not only poses a safety hazard but also completely stops the sorting process.
Small plastics, roughly three inches or smaller, also can cause problems for recycling equipment. These small pieces get caught or fall between the belts and gears of the sorting machinery. And flexible plastic packaging flattens out on the sorting conveyor belt and ends up being incorrectly. In addition, there are no end markets for which these types of plastic pouches.
Other plastics that are not suitable for recycling include foam polystyrene, like that found in meat packaging or egg cartons. Dozens of cities throughout the U.S. have banned plastic foam.
The problem isn't so much with the plastics - they are recyclable - but in the process required to make that happen. Unfortunately, that means that most plastics do not get recycled.
According to an article at NPR,
"Here's the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can't be reused more than once or twice."
So, the better solution when it comes to plastic products is to reduce our usage and opt for truly renewable alternatives wherever possible.
Metal, Paper, and Glass - Winning Candidates for Recycling
Plastic only makes up a portion of the household waste and trash that is generated every day. The bulk of what we throw out is made of paper, cardboard, metals, and glass.
And these are all recyclable almost indefinitely.
Essentially, there is no practical reason why any glass and metal waste should end up in landfills.
- Aluminum loses no quality during recycling and can be recycled forever.
- Steel loses no quality during recycling and can be recycled endlessly.
- Glass loses no quality during recycling and can be recycled endlessly.
Every time paper is recycled, however, the fibers are shortened. But, it is estimated that waste paper can still be recycled anywhere from four to six times.
These materials are common waste products in our household (and office) trash, yet too much of it still ends up in landfills or incineration plants.
We've put together this brief illustrated overview of recycling facts about metal, paper, and glass:
When It Comes to Recycling, Every Bit Really Helps
It can be tempting to fall into the mindset that recycling just one bottle or one cardboard package won't have an appreciable impact on reducing landfilling and the environment. And, by itself, probably not. So, we throw it in the trash instead.
But multiplied by weeks and months - and by the entire population of over 332,000,000 people - it has a massive impact!
We have one planet and we have one opportunity to choose to preserve it or trash it.
Call Junk King Today for Your Bulk Recycling Needs
Calling Junk King is an easy and efficient bulk recycling option.
Junk King can provide you with professional and local junk hauling services all types of recyclable junk including bulk waste paper and cardboard debris, metal trash, glass bottles, and plastics.
We can even haul away your excess household trash and garbage, if needed.
We have the equipment and resources to remove large boxes and other containers up your stairways, your basement steps, or from your garage. No matter what your junk consists of, Junk King can get it out of your way.
We provide an eco-friendly junk removal service that lets you get rid of any unwanted junk, large trash items, and even old appliances in an environmentally conscious way.
Our professional and insured junk removal team will show up at your home (or office) and we call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You point and we haul your unwanted items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).