RECYCLE - The Years Project


By The YEARS Project

Yes, recycling really can help stop climate change. That’s because re-using materials usually requires less energy than extracting raw materials, and thus creates less pollution. According to the EPA, recycling just one aluminum can saves the amount of energy needed to run a laptop computer for more than five hours. Use their tool below to see how much energy is saved by recycling cans, bottles, magazines or grocery bags.

Do you want to earn rewards for recycling? Check out RecycleBank. Things like recycling at home, volunteering in your community and playing “green games” online earns points redeemable for food, clothes and magazines. Since 2004, Recyclebank has helped dispose of nearly 4 billion pounds of waste.

Here’s some more general guidelines for recycling:

To Recap: Is It Or Isn’t It?

Ketchup bottle – yes, just rinse it out
Plastic egg carton – yes
Cardboard egg carton – yes
Styrofoam egg carton – not usually, no
Plastic wrap – no
Laundry detergent bottle – yes, rinse it out
Broken glass – no
Paper with staples – yes
Light bulb – no
Energy efficient light bulbs – recycling center
Peanut butter jar – yes, rinse it out
Yogurt container – yes, rinse it out and remove foil
Tin foil – yes if its clean
Milk carton – yes with plastics
Takeout container – yes, rinse it out
Cardboard box – yes
Newspapers – yes
Glossy inserts/magazines – yes
Plastic hanger – yes in NYC, elsewhere maybe not
Wire hanger – yes in NYC, or scrap metal
Plastic straw – no
Plastic cutlery – no
Laptop – electronic recycling
Keyboard – electronic recycling
Mouse – electronic recycling
English muffin container – paper yes, plastic bag goes with shopping bags
Pizza box – no if it has grease, yes if it’s clean (the greasy one can be composted in some places)
Toothpaste tube – no
Ceramics – no
Mayo jar – yes, rinse it out
Wine bottle – yes
Batteries – no
Pringles can – no

Keep in mind that recycling rules vary a lot from place to place, so it’s a good idea to look up your local guidelines.