Recycle Like a Pro Digital Video
GV Stratus, Premiere Pro, Web Story
Recycle. Compost. Landfill. Think your environmental education has you sorting your recycling like a pro? Well, you might be surprised to learn some of the things you thought were a slam dunk into the blue bin actually belong in another.

RELATED: Got recycling, composting, trash questions? We have answers

Plastic bottles belong in the recycling bin. Check our resource guide to see if your recycling center wants the bottle cap on, or off.

Pro tip: Empty out all the liquid first.

Plastic containers, like yogurt cartons, are made of a variety of different plastics. They are also some of the most valuable recyclable items. If your community's program takes mixed containers, then definitely put these in the recycling bin.

Pro tip: Give it a rinse before tossing it in.

Surprise! Milk cartons are covered in plastic. They are not recyclable and not compostable at most recycling programs.

Pro tip: A few locations can remove the plastic and compost the carton...but you will have to hunt around to find a place.

Next time you run to the store, take all those plastic bags with you. Many supermarkets offer plastic bag recycling, however, most curbside recyclers do not accept plastic bags.

Pro tip: Bag them all up inside another plastic bag.

Remember, a misplaced item can contaminate an entire bin.

Last pro tip: When in doubt, throw it out. 

Recycling rules can be complicated and often differ by region. Check out our Recycling Resources page here to find information specific to your community.
Holiday Re Digital Video
GV Stratus, Premiere Pro, Web Story
Don’t just stuff all that holiday cheer into the blue bin. Here’s how recycling experts say is the best way to clean up after the holidays. 
Wrapping Paper – Do the scrunch test
Only non-foil wrapping paper can be recycled. To check if your paper will be accepted, ball it up in your hand. RIBBONS, it is not foil based and can be recycled. Removed and tape, bows, ribbon or decorations before tossing it in the blue bin. 

Bows – Reuse
They may look pretty on a package, but they’re all wrong for the recycling bin. Not to worry. While you can’t recycle them, bows are one of the easiest items to reuse. Save them in a bag for next year. If they lose some of their stickiness, a piece of tape makes them worthy of sticking around to grace another gift.

Ribbons – Toss
Long strands of curly ribbon can quickly wrap around sorting equipment at the recycling center, like hair around the roller brush of a vacuum cleaner. The solution, just like at home, is to stop down and clean out all that stuff. Toss ribbons in the trash to avoid any slowdowns. 

Holiday Cards – It’s not as easy as you think 
Plain paper cards can go right into the recycling bin. While a glittery card is pretty, that bling cannot be recycled. That card should go in the trash. Same rule applies for cards with lots of metallic embossing or printed on photo paper. Green tip. Tear the card in half and recycle the paper portion. 

Cardboard boxes – Let’s break it down folks
All those online purchases can lead to a lot of cardboard boxes filling up bins. While cardboard is an excellent material to recycle, it is important to break down those boxes. If you don’t, they take up a lot of space in the bins and in the trucks. Grab scissors or a knife and break down boxes until they lie flat. 

Trees – Real or Fake?
Real trees are recyclable and can be turned into wood chippings. Check with your local program for drop-off points or special collection dates in your neck of the woods. First, remember to remove all decorations as well as the stand. Side note, if you sprung for a flocked tree, it cannot be recycled. Artificial trees are made from a combination of materials and cannot be recycled. Unwanted trees in good condition may be accepted by charity. 

Lights – Place in the Electrical Waste Bin
Any items that need to be plugged in or use batteries are electronic waste. These items can be recycled at a household waste recycling center. Check to see if your local recycling program collects small electronics as well as look for special electrical waste bins at the supermarket.

Recycling Resources 
Recycling may seem simple, but it gets complicated fast. We have put together a list of local resources to help you sort it all out.
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