April 5, 2023

Little steps go a long way towards helping our planet when everyone takes them together.

Earth day is April 22nd, and this month we are going to focus on things we can do to continue to support our environment. Starting with recycling dos and don’ts. 
 
Many people already recycle. But if you do not, getting started is simple. Build this task into your daily and weekly routines is simple. And it will help keep the earth clean, reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
 
Recycling can seem complicated. With a wide variety of containers and packaging, what should go in the recycling bin? What should you throw away? Identifying what (and what not) to recycle is half the battle. 
 
Republic Services provides an easy and helpful tool to help navigate this challenge. They also state that about 30% of what gets put in the recycling bins does not belong there. Throwing those “extra” items in our bins can cause a whole truckload of recyclables to go to a landfill.
 
The basics matter. Here are the fundamental recycling dos and don’ts.
 

Do Recycle

Paper
Paper should never be wet, sticky or mixed with any other materials. So, avoid sticky notes or coffee cups that are still wet. Newspapers, mail, office paper and other basic paper products are a GO!
 
Cardboard:
Clean moving, shipping and food boxes are good to go. But if it is dirty or still has food on it, take the time to clean it or separate it. A pizza box is a fitting example. Tear off the side with no grease (recycle it) and throw the dirty side away.
Juice and milk containers are okay too if rinsed out
 
Plastic bottles and jugs.
Keeping containers empty, clean and dry is key. One special note is for plastic bags. If you can poke your finger through the plastic, it does not belong in recycling. An example would be a plastic sandwich or grocery bag. But grocery bags can usually be recycled at the store you got them from!
 
Aluminum Soda Can, Tin Cans and Aluminum Foil:
The same rules apply to aluminum containers. Ensure they are empty, clean and dry! Aluminum foil can go in the recycling bin if there is no food left on it.
 

Do Not Recycle

Some things must end up in the trash. But there may be a TerraCycle location in your area. This organization takes waste that is hard to recycle and helps reduce your impact on the planet. Here are some common items you should not recycle.

  • Batteries and electronics
  • Food or food contaminated items of any kind
  • Foam
  • Single-use paper plates, napkins or paper towels
  • Clothing or shoes
  • Plastic sandwich bags, plastic wrap or grocery bags
One final tip —avoid recycling anything smaller than a credit card and do not bag your recycling. If you put your recyclable items in a plastic grocery bag this makes it hard to sort at the facility.
 
Remember, little steps go a long way when everyone takes them together. We can help make our planet healthier. Make these simple recycling dos and don’ts your next small step.

Weekly Recipe

Chicken Mole with Tortilla Strips

Better Health in 90 | Recycling Dos and Dont's
Catherine Kirkhoff

Authored By

Catherine Kirkhoff

Director of Kinetiq Health

Catherine works with our client services team and wellness vendors to empower clients to implement, manage and measure their health and wellness initiatives. She manages the day-to-day activities of the team of analysts and clinicians driving Kinetiq Health program strategy for Apex clients.

Before joining Apex, Catherine worked in public health for six years as a curriculum coordinator for the Marion County Public Health Department. During that time, she earned her CHES and CLS certifications and provided health education throughout the community and schools in Marion County.

Meet Catherine