Recycling Mythbusters

By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Do you ever find yourself hesitating as you’re about to put something into the recycling bin? “Hmm, I think this supposed to go in here…” While we all want to recycle as much as we can, it can often be confusing. So let’s dispel some common myths and give ourselves fewer reasons for hesitation…

MYTH: You can’t recycle aluminum foil used with food
FACT: As long as it’s clean and intact, aluminum wrap and trays can (depending on your local program) be recycled. For example, Hershey uses 133 square miles of foil to wrap 20 million Kisses every day – all of which can be recycled!

MYTH: Lids and caps have to be removed from bottles before they can be recycled
FACT: This was true in the past, but modern recycling facilities are perfectly capable of handling caps and lids

MYTH: It’s alright to throw away items as long as they are biodegradable
FACT: Biodegradable materials need oxygen to decompose, which is scarce in a landfill. And if it does break down, it releases methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

MYTH: You can’t recycle pizza boxes
FACT: As long as the top of the box is grease-free, you can tear it off & recycle that — half is better than none!

MYTH: Any plastic with a recycling number on it can be recycled
FACT: Items with numbers 3, 6 and 7 are not accepted by most recycling programs

MYTH: Labels must be removed from jars and cans
FACT: There’s no need. Labels are eventually burned off in the recycling process anyway.

MYTH: Old electronics are not able to be recycled
FACT: Though only 13% of the 40 million tons of “e-waste” produced globally each year is actually recycled, all electronics contain recyclable elements

Buffalo Exchange Recycling Mythbusters 1