Recycle or trash? A guide to determining what's recyclable

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Proper recycling techniques help diminish contamination and ease the inspection and sorting process of recyclables upon arrival to waste management facilities.

The easiest way to recycle right is to follow three easy steps for all containers: empty, clean, and dry.

"Empty free of food and liquids, scrape out all your food out of jars, and dry paper and cardboard," advises Leticia Jauregui of California Waste Solutions.

Oakland Recycles is a partnership with the City of Oakland and CA Waste Solutions and Waste Management. In the video above, Jauregui discusses the proper way to recycle old and unused household items, including COVID-19 cleaning supplies.

Here are a few tips and facts for deciding what belongs in the recycling bin or trash:

  • Paper and cardboard that have come into contact with food or liquid belong in the compost bin.

  • After emptying all liquids, put the cap back onto a water bottle. Then place it into your recycling bin.

  • Upcycle or donate gently worn clothing items instead of recycling.

  • Non-recyclables include diapers, hangers, plastic bags, chip bags, hoses, and plastic toys. Put these items into your trash container.

  • Always keep recycling materials loose in your bin. Do not put recyclables in a plastic bag.

  • Cleansing wipes belong in the trash. Do not flush any wipes down the toilet, as they can clog your drain.


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