Recycling plays an important role in keeping the world’s garbage dumps from getting overrun. When you return items made from reusable material back to the bottle depot you are:
- Helping save the environment and protect thousands of birds, marine life, and land animals – By reusing or repurposing products there is less need for sourcing raw materials from the earth. Recycling also keeps a variety of materials from ending up entangled around animals’ bodies or being ingested. Millions of wildlife are killed every year by plastics that could have been recycled.
- Promoting creativity – Materials like glass, plastic, and metal can be reused to create new products. Jewelry made from used metals and glass along with suitcases and building materials made from plastic are just a few items your recycled goods can turn into.
- Healthier planet – The sourcing of new products uses more energy than repurposing existing materials. Reusing existing plastics can save up to 60 percent of the energy needed to produce new plastics. Recycling also helps reduce the number of toxins entering the atmosphere thereby minimizing the amount of pollution being breathed in.
There is, however, the recurring question: Can you take more than bottles and cans to a bottle depot? The answer is a resounding YES!
Recycling More Than Bottles and Cans
Though bottles and cans are the typical containers returned to the bottle depot, jugs and jars are also recyclable. Depending on the type of product, you can get a refund of the original recycling fee paid at the time of purchase. Furthermore, there are over 130,000 varieties of plastic, aluminum, glass, metal, and Tetra containers that are viable for repurposing. Tetra is made from renewable wood, plastic, and aluminum.
Each type of material has been processed differently and needs to be recycled according to its classification. While most plastics can be recycled, each type must be sorted correctly. Products containing PVC cannot be recycled. Regarding plastic, if your plastic has #1 or #2 written on the bottom it can be recycled easily. These are the safest, most reusable plastics. Plastics with numbers 3-7 are more difficult to recycle and require a different procedure including cutting, melting, and adding chemicals to aid in the process. With glass, it can be difficult to know what types are best for recycling, but these tips will help:
- Bottles and jars used for food or drink
- Cosmetic glass containers
- Glass pharmaceutical vials
Each bottle depot will have different guidelines to determine what you can recycle. Recycling standards also vary depending on where you live so check with your local recycling regulations and bottle depot before sorting out your items. Here are tips to recycle with ease regardless of where you reside:
- Quickly rinse and dry out the recyclable items – This prevents odours, mold, and pests from residing in your containers.
- Set up recycle bins for each type and size of material – This makes it easier for you and the bottle depot to organize every item.
- Avoid “wish-cycling” which is recycling anything and everything regardless of whether you know it will be accepted by your local bottle depot – This is a waste of your time.
Are you a recycling newbie? Try these actions out to become a better recycler:
- Bring your lunch to work in a reusable container
- Drink from a reusable water container or metal straw
- Meal plan to avoid collecting a bunch of take-out containers that get thrown out
What to Do When Recycling is Eliminated as An Option
Since there are limits to what can be recycled, what can you do with these items you no longer wish to retain?
- Donate – There are many schools and community centres that take items off your hands for crafts or to create unique art pieces for sale. Old plastic containers are ideal for storing children’s belongings like pencils, Lego pieces, and art supplies.
- Use Your Imagination – Get wild and think of alternative options to using these items again like reusing a glass container for a miniature greenhouse to grow tasty herbs or using a plastic water bottle as part of your children’s science projects.
- Alternative Recycling Spots – Some places take items your bottle depot cannot. Local grocery stores sometimes recycle plastic bags and all you need to do is drop them off.
There are many ways to recycle. It is helpful to keep an open mind when considering what you can do next with objects. At Happy Can Bottle Depot, we are ready to answer your recycling questions