Boise Highlights

Misconceptions about Recycling

Sydney Cayo, Design Editor

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Now that it’s nearing Summer time, students of Boise High can afford a sharper focus on things like proper recycling. The past few years here in the North End have shown a general increase in reducing, reusing, and recycling, but there’s fear that some might be compromising our green commitment through misguided information on how to do so properly.

Executive director of the organization Recycle Across America, Mitch Hedlund, shares a theory that the current recycling rate of the U.S. in inaccurate due to confusion on what to place in which bin. Hedlund also quotes, “If the U.S. gets the recycling number up to 75 percent, […] it will be the CO2 equivalent of removing 50 million cars from the roads each year and will create 1.5 million permanent new jobs in the U.S.”

In order to do our share, be sure to read up on these tips and common misconceptions about recycling. Besides, what good is making the effort if it goes to waste because of improper execution?

The first tip (and key to solving about 99% of current day recycling problems) is to talk to your recycling company. What is and isn’t accepted by haulers is not written in stone anywhere, and often varies from place to place.

While the majority of companies only accept plastic types one, two, four or five, yours might accept other numbers three, six, or seven as well. The plastic type can be found in the three-arrowed recycling symbol located on the bottle. It’s a common belief that this symbol means the product is recyclable, but it’s the number inside that indicates the recyclability of the plastic.

Some companies believe that the lids on plastic water bottles cannot be recycled, while another portion of companies have found that the lid contains recyclable material more valuable than the plastic bottle itself.

Some things companies advise against recycling include pizza boxes, glass, and milk carton material. Pizza boxes themselves could be great candidates for recycling, however once the grease from the pizza seeps into the cardboard, the material is then inadmissible. The water base used to break down the cardboard during recycling separates from the grease, therefore it’s better to just skip to the trash.

While there could be separate companies for recycling glass products, it’s preferable that your left over glass materials be reused. If you don’t use them, they can be donated to a thrift store or given to someone who knows how to repurpose.

For those who recycle milk carton type materials, a vast majority of recycling companies have separate programs for that.

Overall, be sure to check around Boise for companies with recycle options for less-commonly accepted items.

The second hamartia recyclers possess lies in the failure to properly clean items. Aluminum and plastic containers once used to store food can be recycled, but if there’s food left over on the items, they will be placed in waste.

With Earth being all that humans have, it’s important that each of us do our share to contribute to the longevity of our planet. Talk to your company, clean your items, and know what not to recycle.

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Misconceptions about Recycling