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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs an Isle of Wight renter, you may be considering what you can do to live more sustainably. For a lot of people, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other items. But what many don’t know is that not all of these things can be recycled. Just because an item is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not automatically mean that it is recyclable. And placing non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is kind of a big waste of your time as well as that of the processing center. Here are a few suggestions that may help you recycle the right way.


To know which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, experts suggest going by container shape. A usual rule would be that plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just be sure to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

But I’ll tell you that the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is kind of long, so it may come as a surprise to you. To cite a few examples, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable. However, plastic food containers and water bottles usually are. Other things that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

To add, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other forms of the plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. The reason for this is that these things clog up the machines, and they would eventually end up in the landfill. So instead, these items are commonly recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag may be the cause of issues at the processing center.


Recycling glass can become a bit more complicated than many would assume, mainly because processing centers don’t allow certain types of glass. In some areas, the centers will not allow any glass at all. While others will only permit a certain kind of glass. Make sure to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the bin.

However, there are some types of glass that are just not recyclable at all. A couple of examples would be windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other means.


The same as glass, not all processing centers accept metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items that you desire to recycle, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. The majority of regular processing centers will not permit metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

In the same way, old televisions and electronics cannot be plainly sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these items can be more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to look for a certain local electronics shop that will allow your old electronics. Certain companies will allow old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not anymore wanted.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Certain cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers are open to receiving newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are also typically all right, but it depends on what items your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to remember that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (some oil is fine), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and some types of paper are also not recyclable, so you’d need to separate your paper items carefully prior to placing them in the trash bin.


By recycling correctly, you can do a lot to help your community as a renter. But if your neighborhood will not support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Dominion can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 757-395-4274.

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