Commonly Used Items to Never Toss in the Recycling Bin

Commonly Used Items to Never Toss in the Recycling Bin

Recycling benefits the environment, as you are already aware. Only 34% of the 254 million tonnes of rubbish that are thrown away are recycled.

However, just because it feels nice to separate your cans and bottles from your pizza crust, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you put in the recycling bin ends up being put to good use. Even though they appear to be recyclable, some items end up in the trash. No matter how well-intentioned, this wastes time and money.

Are you unsure if your item belongs in the trash or the recycling bin? Continue reading to find out yourself.

Commonly Used Items to Never Toss in the Recycling Bin

Pizza Boxes

Commonly Used Items to Never Toss in the Recycling Bin - Pizza Boxes

It’s acceptable to recycle a brand-new, spotless pizza box in the paper bin. But that one with the oil stains? Unfortunately, you’ll have to manually separate the dirty bits from the clean ones or discard them in the trash. During the recycling process, it is impossible to separate the paper fibres from the oils.

Plastic bags holding recyclables

You’ll be astonished to learn that although most people are aware that plastic bags shouldn’t be placed in the recycling bin, they nonetheless do so frequently.

They group recyclables in plastic bags and eventually dump everything in the recycling bin together. However, this may make it difficult and ineffective to separate the recyclables inside. Additionally, plastic bags may clog and become stuck in sorting equipment, wasting precious resources.

Don’t forget to take a few extra seconds to make sure you don’t dump the plastic bag with your recyclables if you do use one to collect recyclables for the recycling bin.

Clothes Hangers

Clothes Hangers

Did you know that plastic hangers aren’t generally made of pure plastic and that wire hanger are typically not composed of pure metal? Both types cannot be recycled. If you’re replacing old hangers and they’re still in good shape, think about giving them to a nearby charity shop.


Bring energy-saving lightbulbs to an authorised recycling facility. Given that they have metal components, they shouldn’t be recycled with glass. Because they cannot be recycled, older incandescent bulbs should be disposed of with general garbage.

Packing Peanuts

Expanded polystyrene, the material that makes packing peanuts, cannot be recycled. Instead of disposing of a passel of packing peanuts that you receive in a delivery, think about repurposing them around the house. Many business shipping firms also take clean packing peanuts from customers.

Plastic Shower Curtains and Liners

Plastic Shower Curtains and Liners

Polyvinyl chloride is used to make the majority of plastic shower curtains and liners (PVC). These materials cannot be broken down and recycled due to the chemicals used in the production of PVC. However, they are ready for repurposing: Try using curtains again as craft supplies, outdoor tablecloths, drop cloths, or drawer liners.


Pyrex and other glass baking ware are specially prepared to resist high oven temperatures so they won’t melt during recycling. Your broken goods must be wrapped in paper or old towels for protection before being disposed of in ordinary trash.

Coffee cups

Attention, coffee drinkers! We understand that you want to recycle your takeout coffee cups, but you should know that the red bin is preferable than the yellow one.

Yes, your typical coffee cups are made of recyclable paper, but they are also lined on the inside with plastic to make them watertight. The rest of the recyclables in the lot may become contaminated if this plastic lining is placed in the recycling bin.

Having said that, the hard plastic lids that takeout coffee cups come with can be recycled. Therefore, the lid may be disposed of in the recycling bin, but not the cup.

Plastic bottle caps

Plastic bottle caps

We’ve been instructed for years to take the plastic lids off before placing plastic water bottles in the recycling. However, this is altering, and some local governments no longer demand cap removal. It is best to inquire about the municipal policy on plastic caps with your local government. Of course, using reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones is a preferable substitute.


Mirrors’ reflecting coating makes recycling them more difficult. Sell or give the mirror to a charity shop if it’s in good shape. If it’s broken, carefully wrap it and dispose of it with your regular trash.

Waxed Paper and Cartons

Do you purchase cartons of broth, stock, and orange juice? Because the wax fibres on the coating won’t degrade correctly in recycling. Other items with wax coatings should also be thrown away, including waxed paper, silicone baking paper, waxed baking cups, and the majority of frozen food boxes. However, some towns do take cartons; for more information contact your local sanitation department.