To recycle is the action of processing an existing material and transforming it into another.
Only after its full use should an item be recycled. Most of what North Americans waste is recyclable. Buying recycled items is also an important part of spinning the recycling loop.
Making products from recycled items uses less than 10% of the energy making the same product from new materials. Plastics are made from petroleum, a non-renewable carbon-producing resource. Recycling just makes sense!
There are many ways you can make green decisions everyday.
What can I recycle?
Paper / Carton : Most types of paper are recyclable. Egg cartons, magazines, newspapers, flyers, toilet paper rolls, telephone books.
Glass / Metal / Plastic : Containers must be properly rinsed. Bottles, flasks and jars, tins, plastic bottle/container covers, metal hangers, aluminium plates and trays, grocery and packaging bags, clean bread and food wrappers.
What NOT to recycle ? :
Anything dirty, greasy or soiled is not recyclable.
Things that cannot be cleaned such as pizza boxes and greasy chip bags should be thrown out. Concerning plastic products, we can find 7 “types” of plastics with each their own properties. Thankfully 6 of these 7 kinds of plastics are recyclable in Montréal.
These “types” are identified using a number ranging from 1 to 7 that is placed within a recycling logo on every plastic product. The only type of plastic that is not recyclable is plastic #6.
In general, plastic #6 is found as Styrofoam, blue mushroom containers, disposable plates and utensils and plastic junk-food containers. The best way to prevent yourself from throwing away these plastic products is to avoid buying them !
Here’s a few more examples of plastic #6 products that should not be found in your recycling :
A MESSAGE TO STUDENTS : PIZZA BOXES ARE NOT RECYCLABLE BECAUSE THEY ARE SOILED
Here are some more examples of items that are NOT recyclable : batteries, diapers, light-bulbs, mixed metals products, ceramic, porcelain, broken glass (for security reasons), mirors, pots and pans.
Hazardous waste should not be found in your recycling, such as aerosol spray cans, paint bins, chemical products and containers, pesticides, motor oil, etc.
Mixed-objects are not recyclable. These objects are made with more than one type of material, like the combination of metal and plastic. A pen, for example, is a mixed-object. In this case, you should throw-out the ink tube but recycle the plastic cylinder.
Click here for a more specific list of recyclables and non-recyclables ... it's not always obvious !
For more information and current facts regarding recycling please visit Recyc-Québec.