The most essential element to developing a regular recycling habit — and one of the most problematic issues — is knowing what exactly to recycle. Many people stick to the old trick of looking for the recycling sign, but find themselves frustrated when their recycling service doesn’t pick up all recyclables. For instance, some recycling services only pick up plastics 1-2, despite there being 7 types of recyclable plastics. And what about areas like glass, food containers, or scraps from various projects?

Take a look at your pantry for instance. Do you know what can be recycled and what can’t? Here’s a helpful guide to what you can recycle from your pantry:

Food and Drink Cans

You may remember from childhood the idea of collecting soda cans and turning them into recycling centers, so this one doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Soup cans, typically made with steel rather than aluminium, are the same. Make sure to clean out any food or drink residue before recycling so as not to contaminate the bin with food waste.

Food Boxes

Boxes of cereal, dried pasta, or dinner mixes are almost always made with cardboard, one of the easiest things to recycle. Also because the food stored in these boxes is typically dry, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them out beforehand. In the past, waxy coatings to cardboard could be a problem, but now most recycling centers — especially with single stream recycling — will accept these.

Glass Jars

Glass is one of the most common recyclable materials. Glass bottles can even be recycled to become glass bottles again. If you have any bottles of wine, pickle jars, or other glass containers in your pantry, simply clean them out and drop them off in the recycling bin. You may want to do so carefully or wrap them up so as to prevent breakage.

Expired Food (Compost)

This one is a bit of an off-tangent, since obviously you don’t want to put expired food in your recycling bin. However, that’s not to say that all expired food has to go in the trash can. Consider instead composting food that’s passed its expiration date to help spruce up your garden.

Pantry Shelves

Are you moving or remodeling your kitchen, or otherwise in need of an opportunity to get rid of your old pantry? Depending on the materials, you may be able to recycle that, too. Wood shelves can be recycled, and when you use Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling, you can recycle plastic shelves, as well. Find out what kind of material your pantry is made from and learn what recycling centers will accept that material.

It’s always a good idea, before you throw anything away, to know what can be recycled from your pantry. Have questions about anything else in your pantry? Don’t be afraid to ask! Check out our acceptable materials or contact Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling today for more information.