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What Goes In Trash Bin Vs What Goes In Recycling

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:12 PM CDT

Here in Austin you know the drill:  At home we have a recycling bin for paper and plastic, and everything else goes in the trash.  Or does it? 

More things are recyclable these days.  For instance milk cartons used to be disposable because of their wax coating.  Guess they've figure a way around that because they can be recycled now.  Condiments and spice bottles-- both glass and plastic-- used to be a no-no because they were contaminated with food and they had labels on them.  Austin Resource Recovery—formerly Solid Waste Services-- asks that you rinse out the bottles, but they are fine to recycle label and all.

And there's a list of items that you may not know are recyclable:
Aluminum foil (but they ask that you wad it up into balls at least 2-inches in diameter.)
Plastic rings on six packs of drinks.
Berry baskets made from plastic or molded fiber (the molded fiber is recycled newspaper and can be recycled again.)

There's a nice page on the city web site that spells everything out.  Click here to see it.

Btw-- Austin Resource Recovery also tells us that while denim and other fabrics are recyclable, their automated sorting system is not setup to handle it.  Here's one local place that collects fabric for recycling.  And cardboard pizza boxes can also be trashed because they are too contaminated by grease.

A few areas of Austin are participating in a pilot program for collection of home food waste for composting, but it may be awhile before this goes citywide.  In the meantime, feel free to compost on your own.

And electronics are recyclable, but they don't go in your recycling bin.  Donate your old electronics to Goodwill.  They sell what they can and recycle the rest.  And it's really important that these don't end up in the landfill.  There's all kinds of nasty stuff in the components that we don't want leaching out and possibly making it to the water supply.

By Fred Cantu

What Goes In Trash Bin Vs What Goes In Recycling


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