To recycle or not to recycle? That is the question that many ask when garbage day comes around. Here’s a look at some of the items that you should be recycling, along with a list of items that need to go into the garbage. If you’re surprised by some of these, you’re not alone!

1. Although aerosol cans and many other bottles with caps are recyclable, the caps themselves are not, unless they specifically have a recycle symbol stamped on them, so please throw those in the garbage.

2. You no longer have to wonder about bread bags! Place plastic bags–including bread bags, milk bags, and frozen vegetable bags–in the recycling bin or clear/blue transparent bag, as long as you place all of them within one tied plastic bag. You should also remove the plastic film from tissue boxes and put that in the same tied plastic bag.

3. On the other hand, the plastic mesh bags that contain avocados, oranges, onions, or pears cannot be recycled and should go into the garbage instead.

4. While plastic meat containers can be recycled, the shrink wrap and absorbent pads cannot. Put those in the garbage instead.

5. Did you know you are supposed to remove zippers from bags before recycling? Neither did we! This even includes plastic sandwich bags. Put the zippers in the garbage; put the plastic in the recycling.

6. While sticky notes (Post-it notes) can be recycled, the foil on gift cards and other containers cannot. Remove the foil and put it into the garbage instead. Similarly, aluminum foil cannot be recycled and must be placed in the trash.

7. Ever wondered if bubble wrap is recyclable? It isn’t. And neither are blister cards for gum, lozenges, or medication. All of these go into the garbage.

8. Empty deodorant containers are not recyclable and neither is dental floss or dental floss containers. According to the Peel Region website, “The plastic dispenser is a non-recyclable composite mix of plastic resins and metal” while dental floss “is a nylon coated fibre which is not recyclable or compostable.” Put that into the garbage, if you please.

9. While padded envelopes are not recyclable and belong in the garbage, plastic clothes pegs (clothespins) are recyclable.

10. If you’re cleaning out your file cabinet, remember that while file folders are recyclable, metal parts should be removed first and thrown into the garbage. The same applies to the spirals on wall calendars; those should be removed and placed into the garbage, while the calendar paper can go into recycling. If you’re shredding paper from your file cabinet, that needs to go into your organics (green) cart or included in your seasonal yard waste.

Finally, please remember to ALWAYS rinse containers before putting them into recycling! This applies to food, drinks, shampoo, and household cleaners.

Source: Peel Region Website, “How To Sort Your Waste”

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