11 Household Items That You Cannot Recycle

Proper waste management is one of the pillars of environmental responsibility. While we are all aware of the importance of recycling, there are some items that we cannot throw in the recycle bin.

We know that there are places that buy scraps like car parts, metal, glass, and other reusable materials, but not every type of waste can be recycled. Here are some examples found in your household:

1. Aerosol cans

Even though aerosol cans are made of metal, they cannot be recycled because they contain chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. As much as possible, buy alternatives to products that typically come in aerosol cans. For example, air freshener can be substituted with scented candles or essential oils.

2. Brightly colored paper

Paper that has bright dyes can stain other paper materials when they are recycled. Instead of throwing them straight into the trash, use them for other projects until they have worn out their use.

3. Cardboard drink containers

Most drink containers made of cardboard have a plastic lining inside of them that keeps the material from being soaked through. Look for special markings that indicate the recyclability of these containers. Otherwise, they cannot be put in the recycling bin.

4. Paper towels

Paper towels and napkins are not ideally recycled because they may have absorbed liquids that render them useless at the recycling plant. Instead of throwing soaked napkins and paper towels in the trash, try composting them.

5. Pizza boxes

Pizza boxes have absorbed too much grease to be recycled. Consider adding them to your compost pile if you don’t want to throw them in the trash.

6. Certain plastics

While we want to recycle as much plastic as we can, some plastic items can’t be recycled, such as bags, wrapping, containers without recycling labels, and lids. Try cleaning and reusing them or better yet, minimise their use in everyday life.

7. Polystyrene foam

It is ideal to never use polystyrene foam, or popularly known as Styrofoam, as they are challenging to recycle. But if you have one laying around, look for a special recycling facility that can handle it.

8. Shredded paper

Shredded paper can’t be recycled because it is impractical for recycling plants to figure out what kind of paper they are. You can, however, send regular un-shredded paper to the recycling facility.

9. Medical waste

Medical disposables such as syringes, tubes, and other biologically hazardous materials are too dangerous to recycle.

10. Certain glass

Some glassware was made with a higher melting point and is, therefore, impractical to recycle. Household glasses such as windowpanes, light bulbs, Pyrex dishes, plate glass, and mirrors shouldn’t be put in the recycling bin.

11. Takeaway containers

Box filled with plastic materials for reusing

Unless you clean and dry take-out containers thoroughly, you can’t put them in the recycling bin. Grease and food particles may cause contamination if they are combined with other recyclable materials.

Every household should practice responsible waste management, not only to reduce their overall waste for the benefit of the environment but to also save money in the long run. Take note of these items that you shouldn’t put in the green bin, or better yet avoid using them.