­

It can be a little confusing. Do I recycle this carton, but not that box? Do I need to rinse this out before I toss it? How does one know what is acceptable for recycling and what isn't? Here is a very rudimentary cheat sheet for you to use! Let's break it down into categories.

Paper:

1. Corrugated cardboard. This means moving boxes, shipping boxes, and product boxes can all be recycled!

2. Office Paper. Most offices go through a lot of paper. From faxes, to memos, to old projects -- recycling paper is a great way to save a tree!

3. Junk Mail. Yes, even after email, we still get tons of snail-mail junk mail. If you are unable to opt-out of receiving this deluge, then at least recycle the weekly ads. And you can shred and recycle credit card offers and other mail!

4. Phone books. See the comments for junk mail above!

5. Gable-top cartons. Milk cartons and orange juice containers can also be sent to the recycle center.

6. Magazines. You may find some recycling programs still don't accept "glossy paper." But, in all actuality, glossy paper can be easily recycled using today's modern technologies.

Metal:

1. Soup and Coffee Cans.

2. Aluminum Foil.

3. Soda Cans. To be really proactive, set up a collection bin at your office to collect post-snack and post-lunch cans.

Glass:

Glass takes a long time to decompose. It takes longer than your lifetime and mine added together, multiplied by 100 and ... you get the idea. There are certain types of glass you cannot recycle, however. You CANNOT recycle: light bulbs, TV tubes, Pyrex dishes, mirrors, windows, or ceramics.

Plastic:

Plastic must be clean! So wash it out and send it on its way. Most plastic has a recycling code on the bottom. Codes 3, 6, and 7 are less likely to be accepted.

And no plastic shopping bags, unfortunately. Now is the time to buy some reusable bags!

Electronics:

From televisions, cell phones, VCRs, printers, and fax machines can all be recycled! The bad news? Microwaves, smoke alarms, and your old fridge need to disposed of in other ways.

Batteries:

You may already know that your car battery can be recycled, but did you know that those run-down AA, AAA, and other household batteries can also be recycled?

Why recycle? Recycled paper requires only 60% of the energy needed to make new paper. And that's just the tip of the recycling iceberg. It really is a no brainer. So, make a little extra effort at your office and home to save the planet, one glass bottle or pop can at a time.

Log in to comment
­