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What Can and Can’t Be Recycled?

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of old newspapers, plastics, microwave ovens, printer cartridges, cell phones, or old clothes? Did you know that many of the items that we classify as waste can be recycled? Let’s take a look at the everyday things that can and can’t be recycled.


The Dos and Don’ts of Recycling


While most recyclable products have the standard recycle symbol located somewhere, recycling instructions are not always clear. Additionally, there are a variety of ways to “recycle” certain items. For example, some oversized items, like mattresses and specific electronic devices, can be donated to be used by someone else when you are done with them. Let’s take a look at what items you can and can’t recycle so you have a better idea of how to help protect our environment.


What Can You Recycle?


The following items can be recycled:




Glass is a unique manufacturing material that is almost 100% recyclable. This means nearly all the bottles or cans you would typically throw out can be recycled for future use.




Paper accounts for 23% of the annual urban garbage, more than any other material. Recycling paper can help to protect trees and other natural resources.




There are a variety of different types of plastic that can be recycled. While some heavier plastics can’t be recycled, most public recycling programs allow certain types of plastic to be reused. Look for recyclable plastic products to lessen environmental pollution.





Car and motorcycle tires are recyclable. Most workshops and automobile shops accept and recycle used tires when installing new tires. Talk to your local auto parts shop or mechanic to see if your tires can be recycled before you throw them out. In most cases, you can ship the tires to a tire dealer or local recycling agency. Some companies will even give you money towards a new set of tires.


Polystyrene Containers


Polystyrene containers, styrofoam, and styrofoam packaging can be recycled. This includes plastic bags, egg cartons, boxes, and some coffee cups.


Newspapers and Books


Newspapers and books are one of the most accessible recyclable materials. Recycling these materials can save 60% of the energy required to manufacture new products.


What Isn’t Recyclable?


The following items can’t typically be recycled:


Lids and Caps


Lids and caps are not considered recyclables. So, it is advised that you remove them when recycling bottles.


Aerosol Cans


Aerosol cans and other containers are made of metal with pressurized contents that can damage recycling equipment. Therefore, these items must be disposed of with your everyday waste.


Medical Waste


Many medical tools and equipment are disposable but not recyclable. While you can discard but medical needles, plastic syringes, and prescription containers, they shouldn’t be recycled for safety reasons.


Treated/Scrap Wood


Scrape wood cannot be recycled because many of these items contain chemicals that make it unsafe to burn for energy.


Contact MainStreet Fibers for Your Recycling Needs


If you have a question about recycling, we’re here to help. Contact MainStreet Fibers for all your San Bernardino recycling needs.


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