Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you chuck your yogurt carton into the recycling bin?

The Bite
It depends on your recycling program. Figuring out exactly what's recyclable can be harder than navigating the shoe section during clearance season, but our cheat-sheet makes at least one of these tasks a whole lot easier.

The Benefits

* Less confusion. Proper disposal ensures that your recyclables end up in the right place.
* Save energy. Recycling an aluminum can takes 96% less energy than creating a new one.
* Less landfill. According to the EPA, 75% of Americans' trash can be recycled, but only 25% actually is.
* Cleaner groundwater. Most landfill liners are just 1/10th of an inch thick, so toxins from garbage often leak into the groundwater.

Personally Speaking

Bozeman Biters are lamenting that the city just stopped recycling glass due to the expense of shipping it to a recycling facility. Need to kvetch or create an action plan to green up your town's recycling options? Join the discussion in today's blog.

Wanna Try?

* Earth911 - local listings of where you can recycle anything under the sun.
* You don't need to remove labels from cans and bottles, but you do need to remove plastic caps (and throw them away).
* Your recyclables don't need to be spotless - just not moldy or full of food. Save water - don't rinse 'til clean.


* Unbroken bottles are easier for workers to sort than broken ones.


* Most containers, such as tins and cans, and aluminum foil.


* Newspapers, magazines, photocopies, shoe boxes, envelopes (including ones with glassine windows).


* Plastics #1-#2 – recyclable in most areas. Usually found in 2-liter and detergent bottles, milk jugs and food containers.
* Plastics #3-#7 – more difficult to recycle, they are found in Styrofoam, pipes, shrink wrap, padded envelopes, trash liners and more. Check with your local facility to see if it recycles these plastics.
* Yogurt Cups - recyclable in most areas, especially the #2 plastic kind.
* Grocery Bags - reuse them first! You usually can't recycle them curbside, but some supermarkets have recycling bins in-store. Try to avoid them altogether by bringing your own Biter bag to the store.

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