When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Text:  Prevent recycling contamination.  When in doubt, throw it out.  Photo:  Bales of recyclables.
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Did you know there's something more damaging - to your community, to the environment - than NOT recycling something?

What's worse you might ask? Throwing something in the recycling bin that is NOT recyclable.

Often referred to as "outthrows," these pieces of trash pretending to be recycling can contaminate - or ruin - an entire load of recyclables. Imagine, all that work done by all those people in your town ruined because of trash?

So what is there to do, especially if you're dedicated to recycling as much as possible?

HAVE MORE TIME? START HERE: ASK your transfer station operator or recycling provider (you may need to make a phone call!) to see if something is recyclable. Remember, DO NOT rely on the chasing arrows and number on the bottom - that only tells you what type of plastic something is made of, not if it is recyclable at your facility or program.

HAVE LESS TIME? START HERE: When in doubt, throw it out. Even if it *might* be recyclable, if you're not sure, don't risk contaminating a whole LOAD of recyclables, just pitch it.

Interested in reading more about outthrows? Wondering why some things are accepted at one facility, but not at another? Here's a great article that goes into the nuances, written by NRRA Board Trustee and Recycling Expert, Roger Guzowski: https://max-r.com/.../understanding-outthrows-to-avoid.../

#nrrarecycles #nrrarecycleright #RecycleRight

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service. Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer.