Which to throw where? White collar recycling guide

This is not fashion related, just something that's been bugging me.

 

I’m standing in front of a line of brightly colored recycling bins holding a tray full of my post-consumed lunch thinking "I have no idea which to throw where!?"

 

I mean yes, I can read! (Meant both eyesight and literacy) I can see the giant labels with big fonts indicating: Recycle, Paper, Compost, Landfill, General Trash... But what does it mean! Like does the paper plates count as Recycle or Paper, and since it's made from wood pulp can it be composted? Or does it belong in General Trash since there's leftover food on it... Why is it so freakin’ difficult to be good?!

So today, I'm gonna give you the current rule of thumb for separating lunch trash.

  • Glass/plastic Bottles, hard plastic packaging/containers, and metal cans go to Recycle
  • Food goes to Compost (or General Trash)
  • All your one time used plates, utensils, bags and other misc. go to General Trash or Landfill

 DONE!

(Continue reading if you want a detailed breakdown, want to know the reasons behind it or... if you got time to kill ;P )

OK! Here are all the Items you might encounter during your lunch break.

 

Lunch Tray:

Yes, it can be recycled but DON'T put it in the bin! It's frown upon @ most restaurants. So just leave it where all the other trays are.

 

 One-time use plates/food boxes/bags/utensils made with

...Paper:

General trash/landfill. Simply put, It touched food, its recyclable value is compromised. Even if the plate didn't touch the food, don't put it in the recycle paper pile because most food-related paper products have a water-resistant coating or plastic film; best not mix it with other non-treated paper and cardboard.

 

...Plastic:

Even though they are plastic, don't put them with the Plastic recycle. One-time use plastic products come in many diff. types and individual recycling centers have diff. restrictions on which ones they will take. So General Trash it goes. (You could also call up the manufacturer who made that plastic fork then call up your recycling center, but I don't know how long you have for lunch break... )

 

...Wood or other Plant-based:

Usually, you can put them in General Trash or Landfill. But some might indicate that they can be composted. So for those ones, throw it out with your food waste into the Compost bin.

 

...Metal or Ceramic:

Put those back!!! You know you are not supposed to take those, you Klepto!!

 

Beverages:

If they are in one-time use material like what I previous mentioned, follow the previous guide. If they are glass/plastic bottles or metal cans, put them in the Recycle bin.

 

Plastic bag:

These are tricky. Yes, they are plastic, but bags are usually made from the grade of plastic only specific recycling center will take. Since they are lightweight, the bags often get caught into the recycle sorting machine. So General Trash or Landfill.

 

Glass, hard plastic and metal:

Items made with those are easy to Recycle. (At least you know about this one right?)

 

Leftover Food:

  • Try to scrape off food waste into the Compost or Trash bin before you recycle any....eeerrr...recyclables.  (Can’t think of another word ;D )
  • Do doggie bag-it if you can't finish your lunch.
  • And if it's leftover lobster, call me !!!  (Yuuuuuummmm…)

And if the thing(s) you are holding right now don’t belong to any~ of the categories above, General Trash it goes.

Wow! Congrats!!! You made it through the recycle jungle! (Now go away! Let me finish lunch! :D)

OK! Here are all the Items you might encounter during your lunch break.

Lunch Tray:

Yes, it can be recycled but DON'T put it in the bin! It's frown upon @ most restaurants. So just leave it where all the other trays are.

 One-time use plates/food boxes/bags/utensils made with

...Paper:

General trash/landfill. Simply put, It touched food, its recyclable value is compromised. Even if the plate didn't touch the food, don't put it in the recycle paper pile because most food-related paper products have a water-resistant coating or plastic film; best not mix it with other non-treated paper and cardboard.

...Plastic:

Even though they are plastic, don't put them with the Plastic recycle. One-time use plastic products come in many diff. types and individual recycling centers have diff. restrictions on which ones they will take. So General Trash it goes. (You could also call up the manufacturer who made that plastic fork then call up your recycling center, but I don't know how long you have for lunch break... )

...Wood or other Plant-based:

Usually, you can put them in General Trash or Landfill. But some might indicate that they can be composted. So for those ones, throw it out with your food waste into the Compost bin.

...Metal or Ceramic:

Put those back!!! You know you are not supposed to take those, you Klepto!!

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