Common Recycling Mistakes People Make Every Day

Thanks to the ingenuity of mankind, countless varieties of materials are created every day to manufacture everything from food containers to electronics, and everything in between.

While the influx of new materials does result in products that make our lives more convenient, it also results in an increased amount of waste that makes its way into the landfills. To combat this problem plaguing our environment, it is extremely important we do everything in our power to improve our recycling efforts on both a personal and corporate scale.

Most people have good intentions but it can be challenging to recycle effectively and correctly. Whether you are a seasoned recycling pro or a newcomer to the cause, you may be surprised to know how many mistakes can be made.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common recycling mistakes.

Plastic Bags

Some cities have banned the use of plastic bags by retailers to help cut down on the number of bags going to landfills. Plastic bags cannot be placed in curbside recycling bins because they are difficult to sort out and may jam or damage recycling equipment. In order to recycle plastic bags, you must take them to the nearest recycling center. Most large grocery store chains provide collection bins to make it more convenient for you to recycle. You can find your nearest drop off location by visiting

Cans and Bottles

Many people remove the labels from cans and bottles before throwing them into their recycle bin. You can actually leave the labels on them saving you the time and hassle of trying to remove a sticky label. However, washing them off is an important step that is often forgotten. Aluminum, glass, and plastic cans and bottles should always be rinsed clean before being placed in your recycle bin.


While it doesn’t seem to make sense that shredded paper is not recyclable, it is actually true. The pieces are too small to be sorted by a machine and ultimately wind up on the floor. You can, however, use shredded paper as mulch in your garden or even as a packing material for shipping or use a paper shredding service. Some cities offer this service free to their residents. Another misconception about paper recycling is that only white paper is allowed but everything from colored office folders and mail to old books and glossy magazines are recyclable.


We all know that we cannot recycle food, but did you know that you cannot recycle materials that still have food residue on them or are greasy? This includes pizza boxes, Chinese food containers, and other containers such as frozen dinner boxes, because residue from the food can ruin the process of recycling cardboard. If you cannot remove all of the food debris, then you should put it in the trash. The key to recycling paper and food cartons is making sure that it is dry, empty and clear of food residue.

Plastic bottle caps and lids

It is true that plastic tops and caps were not recyclable in the past but newer processing methods have been developed that now make it possible. You must place the caps and lids back on the bottles once they are emptied. Loose lids are too small to place in your recycle bin and must be disposed of in the trash.


You may think that all glass is the same, but when it comes to recycling, that is not necessarily true. Glass used to make windows, crystal, Pyrex, mirrors, light bulbs, and other similar glass products, cannot be placed in your curbside recycling bin because they are processed differently. However, glass bottles and jars designed for food and beverages can.

If you come across an item that you are not sure can be recycled, take the time to do a quick internet search to find the answer instead of just tossing it in the trash bin. As our population grows, it is important for each of us to do our part in reducing the amount of waste that enters our landfills.

When it comes to the recycling needs of your Arizona-based business, Consolidated Resources Inc. is the name to trust. For nearly 30 years, we have been serving commercial and industrial companies throughout the Valley by providing a wide range of comprehensive solutions.

To learn more about how we can help your business do its part in the recycling movement, contact us today at (623) 931-5009, or visit our website to view the services we offer.