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How Do You Recycle Anyway?

Let’s take the liberty of speaking for everyone and say, we all think we know how to recycle. Right? I mean most people feel they have a pretty good grasp on the concept, you take your water bottles and put them in a separate container and a recycling waste truck come and takes them God know where. Eventually we buy more products that say, “made using recycled plastic” and we smile contentedly knowing we did our part in that! Did we really do our part? Is there more to recycling? Let’s find out!


The most important thing to know: Recycling is not a universal process, there will be differences in what is required depending on where you live. We are Austenite’s so we will discuss the recycling process here in Austin, Texas. The weirdest city here in these United States. That being the case we have our first step.


1. Check out YOUR cities, recycling schedule and requirements:

• Remove metal components from plastic items

• Empty and rinse items before recycling them.

• Make sure all items fit inside the blue recycling cart with the lid closed.

• Only hard plastics are accepted; plastic foam, plastic bags, and plastic wrap are not allowed

• Dry paper before placing it in your cart

• Crush recyclables like cans, plastic jugs and bottles

• Flatten boxboard and corrugated cardboard

2. It’s more than plastics people! Separate:

• ELECTRONICS

o CALL LITTLE MISS RECYCLE! WE’LL PICK THEM UP FOR YOU!

• Paper

o Glossy and matte paper

o Junk mail

o Newspapers

o Magazines

o Shredded paper (placed in a paper bag)

• Boxboard/cardboard

o Corrugated cardboard and boxboard boxes

o Food boxes (cereal boxes, microwave meals, boxes of rice, etc.)

o Paper towel rolls

• Metal

o Aluminum foil (clean, balled 2 inches or larger)

o Aluminum foil baking pans, pie plates, tins, trays (clean)

o Food/Soda/Steel Tin cans and caps/lids

o Soda cans and caps/lids

• Glass

o Jars and caps (labels can be left on containers)

o Bottles and bottle caps (labels can be left on containers)

• Hard plastics

o Water and soda bottles

o Milk jugs

o Liquid containers

o Jars and tubs (yogurt, butter tubs, etc.)

o Detergent and all-purpose cleaner bottles

o Soap and shampoo bottles

o Buckets

o Lawn furniture

o Laundry baskets

o Pet carriers

o Milk crates

o Toys

o Totes and lids

o Tubs

o Flower pots and trays

o Dish drainers

o Trash cans

3. Ready Recyclables for Collection.

• Place recycling at the curb by 6:30 a.m

• Set your carts at least 5 feet apart and away from cars, mailboxes, trees and overhead wires.

• If you have clothing and housewares to recycle, put your green Simple Recycling bag next to the blue cart.


There you have it! So many of the things we want to get rid of don’t need to go in our trash bin. Most things are recyclable! The things that aren’t recyclable are usually compostable! What is compost? How do you do that? You will have to wait until next time! Until then remember Reuse, Reduce, and little miss Recycle!

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