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Recycling & Reusing

Smart Start, Recycle Right

It's time to get back to basics so we're all doing our part to "Recycle Right." When we know how the recycling journey works, we can avoid contaminating the recycling bins.

We love that you’re recycling! We love that you’re making “green” decisions and choosing environmental options that help us keep our planet cleaner.

But.

There’s a right way and a wrong way. And sometimes, when you recycle the wrong way, it doesn’t just lessen the impact of your recycling, it negates it altogether. And THAT’S why we want to make sure you know how to recycle right.

Don’t miss our series of three Smart Start, Recycle Right videos that tell the whole story:

Journey of Recycling
How to Recycle Right
How to Avoid Contamination

GOOD TO KNOW & DO

The Journey of Recycling Right

Once you see how the journey unfolds, we hope you understand the importance of knowing how to recycle right and making the right recycling decisions along the way.

1   MAKING A SMART CHOICE

It starts when you…

  • Choose products that perhaps don’t have packaging.
  • Or products that have packaging that can be recycled.
  • Or products that themselves can be recycled in your community when you’re done using them.
  • Or products that can be reused. (Jelly jars for juice glasses, anyone?)

We call that starting smart, and it can be as easy as—for example—choosing the dozen eggs packaged in cardboard rather than Styrofoam™.

2   RECYCLING RIGHT

Once you’ve chosen your product (and once you’ve used it), the next step in the recycling journey is choosing the correct bin, whether it’s the curbside recycling bin, or a specific drop-off place in your community.

3   DELIVERY TO THE  MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITY

Your item next gets sorted, compacted and bundled, so it’s ready to be processed.

4   SHIPPING TO THE RECYCLING PROCESSOR

In preparation for its next life, your item is broken down into raw materials and sold to manufacturers.

5    TRANSFORMATION AT THE MANUFACTURING PLANT

Finally, your item, now in its raw stage, is transformed into something brand new. And the cycle begins again…

Recycle Right

Too many non-recyclables are being put into household recycling bins, which is causing major problems down the line. To avoid this, it’s time to get back to the basics: Paper, plastic bottles and metal cans. And remember, make sure what you toss is empty, clean, and dry.

Paper that can be recycled:

  • Printer Paper (stack of pages)
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Flattened Cardboard Boxes
  • Cardboard Rolls

Empty plastic bottles and jugs with a neck or spout can be recycled, including:

  • Beverage Bottles and Jugs
  • Cleaning Product Bottles and Jugs


Empty metal cans that can be recycled:

  • Steel and Tin Cans
  • Aluminum Cans

Avoid Contamination

There’s no “maybe” in the recycling process. If you don’t know if something is recyclable and in the right condition, don’t throw it in the bin.

If you do and you guessed wrong, that item may have contaminated the whole bin, possibly causing everything in it to be thrown away, rather than be recycled.

Before you toss anything into the recycling bin, ask yourself:

Remember, it’s up to you to Start Smart and Recycle Right.

Start Smart

  • Think before you buy
  • Choose recyclable packaging
  • Reuse it, if possible

Recycle Right

  • Know what can be recycled
  • Know where it can be recycled
  • Clean before putting in the bin

Test Your Recycling Knowledge

Recycle Your Tree

Go green and be merry

START SMART, RECYCLE RIGHT

Here's what you need to know

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We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Getting involved in the Bay Star programs is one way you can be part of the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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