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Recycling is one of the easiest and most efficient habits you can adopt in terms of environmental sustainability. By simply recycling specific materials instead of disposing of them entirely, you can contribute to a helpful initiative that, when achieved to certain levels, can potentially reach the equivalent of removing 55 million cars from US roads annually.

However, recycling is a process that must be completed in a certain manner, and many aspiring recyclers tend to fall into a series of pitfalls grounded in misconceptions and confusions regarding recycling’s specifics.

To aid you in your recycling endeavors, here is a quick primer on how to properly recycle.


Find the essentials

Recycling is a path that does not require a heavy amount of investment. That said, you will need to purchase a few essential items to ensure you are able to recycle on a regular basis. The best course of action is to purchase a small recycling bin of some kind that you can use to store recyclable items. Depending on the size and type of this bin, you may need to purchase an additional bin with which to leave items outside for pick-up services, or to transport to a recycling plant yourself.


Recycle this, not that

A crucial step in initial recycling practices is to know the difference between recyclable materials and materials that should be fully disposed of. Recycling rules tend to vary by location, so make sure you become versed in your town’s regulations and base your recycling habits on this information. As a quick reference guide, nearly all areas accept recycling of most plastic items (milk cartons, soda bottles, produce boxes), and cardboard box materials (cereal boxes).

Also, make sure your recycled materials are clean and free of all food and drink particles. Otherwise, they may be left behind.


Expand on your habits

Broadening your horizons is always a great way to maximize your recycling habits. You do not necessarily need to confine your recycling to food and drink materials — you could recycle old clothes, toys, environmental materials via composting, and even water. Becoming a recycling connoisseur is never a bad thing.


Keep recycling

Once you have mastered the first three sections, you will likely be ready to dive into the world of recycling, ultimately leading a more sustainable lifestyle. However, make sure you do not relegate your recycling habits to a trend or phase — keep recycling as a part of daily life. Making the process a kneejerk part of your daily routine will be the easiest way to ensure your sustainability will endure.