Some recyclable items most people are familiar with, such as cans and bottles or paper. Other items, such as cartons, are newer to the list of what’s accepted for recycling. This is why it’s important that you know what to throw and what you can recycle in your bin or at drop-off locations.
Rinse, Recycle and Repeat
Remember that you can recycle more than you think! Milk cartons, juice boxes and soup cartons all can be recycled in the Twin Cities metro area. Recycling cartons is easy! Just rinse out the carton before placing it in your bin with the cap or lid on.
Keep an eye out for any items you might be wish cycling. Keep troublesome items like plastic bags and food pouches out of your curbside bin, but look for other options, like drop-off containers at retailers for plastic bags.
Why Recycle Cartons?
There are two distinct kinds of cartons: shelf-stable and refrigerated. These carton types differ slightly what they’re made of. Shelf-stable cartons contain a small of amount of aluminum in addition to plastic and high-grade paper. Recycling facilities can separate these parts, and they can be recycled into a valuable resource. The Carton Council says that because cartons are made mainly from paper, they are valuable material to recycle.
Once a Carton, Now Something New
Recyclables can be used to make a variety of different products. Since cartons are made with high-quality paper, they can become different consumer products like tissue, office papers, paper towels, and building materials. More products are being packaged in cartons than ever before, so be sure to add cartons to your recycling routine.
An item similar to cartons is cardboard and paper packaging. Be sure to break down cardboard boxes before adding them to your bin, and don’t recycle pizza boxes from delivery or other boxes that have food or grease on them. Recycle Across America says that recycling cardboard only takes 75 percent of the energy needed to make new cardboard. Know how to recycle cardboard, and make it part of your routine.
Apartment Living and Recycling
If you live in an apartment or multifamily building, ask your building manager about recycling. The Minnesota Legislature expanded recycling requirements to commercial properties and apartment buildings. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has tips for business owners and property managers on how to recycle more. If recycling isn’t offered in your building, call your city recycling coordinator for help.
Encouraging More Recycling
The City of Minneapolis has some tips for a successful apartment building recycling program. A few tips include informing potential tenants about recycling programs, educating tenants on what can be recycled, and encouraging them to recycle more. Another great way to encourage recycling anywhere is to use signs on your bins. You can even use the Signmaker tool to customize signs. Use signage best practices to help them be visible and effective.