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Recycle

Improve your Recycle Habits Philly

According to the EPA, 75% of American’s trash can be recycled – and only 25% actually is.

In Philadelphia, you’re able to recycle most household materials curbside, without having to sort into separate containers. Here’s the breakdown:

Metal: Tin and aluminum cans, empty aerosol cans, empty paint cans

Glass: Jars and bottles

Mixed Paper: Newspaper, magazines, mail (junk and personal), phone books, food boxes (remove plastic liner), computer paper, flyers, wrapping paper (no foil or plastic wrap), soda and beer cartons (no food-soiled paper, please!)

Plastic Containers: Recycle #1 – #7 plastics. Look for one of these numbers on the bottom of the container to see if it’s acceptable.

Cardboard: Empty and flattened

When sorting your trash and recycle bins, make sure to include all possible recyclables.  Every time you’re about to throw something away, think of whether it can be recycled.  (For example, many people are unaware you can recycle empty bathroom staples such as shampoo, soap dispensers, body wash, etc.) Also, if you use disposable materials at work (water bottles, cardboard boxes, etc.) make the extra effort to take anything home if your employer lacks recycle bins.

If you live in the city of brotherly love and need a recycle bin, you can check this site to find where to pick one up.

In some communities (such as Glen Mills, PA, etc.), you can actually earn money back for recycling.  RecycleBank picks up your recycled materials together in one bin, so you don’t have to bother sorting. This program saved 8800 tons of materials from landfills alone last year in Wilmington.  Check their website to sign up for the program.

Happy Recycling!

Posted by Julie

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

2 thoughts on “Improve your Recycle Habits Philly

  1. Is it true that you have to take the caps or lids off of water and other bottles in order for them to be recycled?

  2. Great question Tom! If the cap or lid is clear plastic, you can throw that in the recycle bin according the Philly rules. (If the lid isn’t clear, that can be thrown in the trash.) Also, Philly wants you to rinse out the plastics/aluminum/etc. before you put them in the recycle bin. I suggest putting a little soap & water and letting it sit versus wasting excess water.

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