Resources: The Dos and Don’ts of Recycling

Follow up resources!
We had a lively discussion with Alex Kim, Environmental Health Specialist for the City of Brooklyn Park, to discuss how recycling systems work, how to recycle correctly, and dismissing common myths about recycling. Here is are some follow up resources for those who missed the event or want to learn more about this topic. Also check out the bonus tips below, curated by the UUCM Climate Justice Team.

Five Things You May Not Know About Recycling

  1. Don’t crush anything but cardboard boxes.
  2. Leave part of the can lid attached when you open it (or if loose, put it in the can).
  3. Items smaller than 4 inches will fall through the conveyor belt when sorting so put them in other containers of the same material.
  4. Separate metal tops from plastic containers and put in a can or item of the same material (put like with like).
  5. Water softener salt bags can go with other plastic bags and recycled at grocery stores in collection bins. (these do not go in civic collected recycling)

Other TIPS

  1. Don’t bag anything (paper bag or plastic) or add an item that you ‘think’ might be recyclable if you’re not sure. The whole bag will get thrown out.
  2. Prescription bottles should go into another container that is the same recycling # (nos. 1-5)
  3. Many communities don’t allow shredded paper that is put in paper bags or loose in a bin. Check with your local recycling center.
  4. Remove the plastic window from envelopes before recycling.

You cannot recycled these items:

Plastic bags (storage, freezer, store–These CAN be recycled at grocery stores collection bins)
Black plastic (food trays, etc.)
Plastics #6 or 7
Shredded paper (depending on your community)

More Green Tips:

1. Reducing gasoline consumption by one gallon (about 20 miles of driving) will reduce greenhouse gas emissions the same as the work of 1 million trees.
2. We produce 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.
3. LED lights use 75% less electricity than other light bulbs.
4. You can drop off compostable items in Minnetonka at the recycling drop-off site (11522 Minnetonka Blvd.) The blue organics bin is located near the area that holds free salt in the winter and free wood chips in the summer.They take food (including bones and dairy products), food-soiled paper like napkins, pizza boxes, coffee grounds, filters, certified compostable items and shredded paper.  Items must be bagged in BPI certified compostable or paper bags.

One Comment

  1. I feel like I was a pretty savvy recycler, but I learned quite a bit of new information in the session. (The “no black plastic trays” was an eye opener for me.) Thank you for having it!



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