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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs a Fort Lee renter, you may be contemplating what you can do to live more sustainably. For a lot of individuals, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these things can be recycled. Just because a certain thing is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not imply that it is recyclable. And putting non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is kind of a gigantic waste of time for you as well as the processing center. Here are a few suggestions that may help you recycle the right way.


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

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

Moreover, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other styles of plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. The reason would be that these materials clog up the machines, and they usually 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 will cause challenges at the processing center.


Recycling glass can be more complicated than a lot of people think, 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 accept a certain kind of glass. Make certain to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the trash.

However, there are specific classes of glass that are just not recyclable at all. These include 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 permit metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items and would want to recycle them, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. The majority of regular processing centers will not take in metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

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

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Particular kinds of 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 generally all right, but it depends on what items your local recycling center is willing to take.

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


By recycling correctly, you can help your community as a renter. However, if your neighborhood is not going to support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Concierge can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 201-514-1603.

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