Recycling is one easy way that you can help take care of your community and environment, cutting down on waste and reducing the need for the production of raw materials. But that doesn’t mean that everything technically recyclable can be thrown into your recycling bin haphazardly. Recycling contamination ruins countless batches of recycling, because once contaminated, nothing in the recycling bin is usable. Here are a few ways to cut down on recycling contamination and recycle as efficiently as possible.

Check the Acceptable Materials

Just because something is recyclable doesn’t necessarily mean that your recycling company accepts it. Not all recycling facilities are equipped to handle all types of plastics, glass, etc. What’s more is that if one of those unacceptable materials does end up in your recycling bin, it might just ruin the whole batch for those companies, depending on what it is.

Though Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling accepts plastics 1-7, most of our competition will only accept plastics 1-2. You may be able to find a list of acceptable materials on their website. If not listed there, contact them in the most convenient way, by phone or email.

Clean Plastic Containers Before Tossing Them

Milk jugs can often be recycled, but it’s a good idea to rinse out all the milk and replace the cap before dropping them in the bin. The same rule applies to salsa containers or other sauce containers of some kind. Food waste can contaminate your recycling bin, but as long as it’s cleaned before it’s recycled, you should be fine. If you have plastic containers for household cleaners, you’ll also want to wash those before recycling them, as those could contain harmful chemicals that could contaminate the recycling bin.

Know When Takeout Containers Can Be Disposed Of

Pizza boxes are made of cardboard so that they can be recycled…or so that they can biodegrade. The problem, however, is food grease. If you see those dark stains at the base of your pizza box, that unfortunately means that the pizza box itself can’t be recycled. The good news is pizza boxes can be composted, so it doesn’t have to be a complete waste. Consider all food takeout containers in the same way. Styrofoam can’t be recycled. Plastic can be washed clean before being recycled. Paper can be recycled as long as there are no food stains on it.

When you want to recycle smart, it helps to have a knowledgeable recycling company on your side to help you through it. Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling offers unparalleled single stream recycling in Brazos Valley, which means we collect all recycling materials together and separate and sort them at the facility. This allows us to accept more materials than the competition. Interested in our recycling service? Contact us today to learn more or to sign up for weekly trash pickup with complimentary recycling.