Recycling 101 | What You Can and Can’t

recycle tips 011 Recycling 101 | What You Can and Cant

No city is ever going to be perfect. Certainly not Los Angeles, with its ridiculous traffic and high cost of living. But one thing the city has going for it is an excellent recycling program.

It wasn’t until perusing the official City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation website that I became aware of the fact that you could now recycle Styrofoam®. Long thought of as the annoying and beyond redemption party crasher of the green living movement, the product officially known as polystyrene thermal insulation is actually part of the plastic family and has some sustainability. Who knew?

Here’s a rundown on what else can be placed into your city-issued blue recycling container. It breaks down into four categories: paper, metal, glass and plastic.

Paper must be clean and dry in order for the city to take it, but just about any paper will do, from the large (telephone books) to the small (Post-it® notes). This includes unwanted mail, newspapers, cardboard boxes (flattened down, of course), magazines, wrapping paper, toilet paper rolls and envelopes (even those with clear plastic windows).

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Barcode Trashcan | Recycling Made Even Easier

barcode trashcan 002 Barcode Trashcan | Recycling Made Even Easier

The next person who whines about the complications of recycling is going to get an earful from me. Not about how recycling is an important responsibility, or how each of their cans, bottles, newspapers, etc. can make a difference – or about what a moron they must be – but about the fact that there’s a fancy new solution to their eco-incompetence.

To be fair, if there is a complicated aspect to recycling (and I said “if”), it surrounds plastics. As you know, there are various types, and not all them can be recycled. But you should also be able to figure out that every plastic container has a recycling symbol on it with number inside. And knowing which numbers can be recycled and which can’t is easy for you to research. Simply check online with your local recycling facilities – either the ones that come to your house to empty your bins (try your neighborhood sanitation department if you have no clue where to begin searching) or the places you go to drop off your cans, bottles, plastics, etc.

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