Participating in the “Trash on Your Back” challenge has made me think again about some questions I’ve always had about recycling. I regularly throw things in the recycle bin that I think should be, but possibly aren’t, recyclable. These include things like yogurt containers (recyclable in SOME places, I’ve noticed), torn plastic bags that can’t be reused (I’ve seen special collection bins for these?), plastic strawberry containers, and dirty plates and napkins. I’m never sure if it’s worse to throw them in the recycle bin or in the trash. I wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to recycle something recyclable, but I also wouldn’t want somebody dumping my entire bin of recyclables in the trash because they’ve “disqualified” it.
Since I’m doing this challenge, I threw my yogurt cup in the recycle bin today. But does it really belong there? I was really excited to see a tour of a recycling facility on the activities list, since I could then finally figure out how they sort and handle waste in the recycle bin, and decide whether I do more harm than good by trying to recycle these things. The tour’s been postponed, so I really hope I can make the rescheduled one. In the meantime, if anyone has any insight about this, please feel free to comment!
Guest Blog by Irene Hu