Have you ever placed items in the recycling bin without being certain that they can be recycled?
Wishful thinking can damage your recycling program. Placing items that cannot be recycled with those that can results in local governments and recycling processors spending millions of dollars removing non-recyclables (also called contaminants) or disposing of material that could have been recycled.
Common problem items include garden hoses, holiday lights, extension cords, diapers, shredded paper, hazardous household products and plastic bags. To learn more, see Recycling's Dirty Dozen.
Most local government recycling programs accept traditional items such as aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles and jugs, newspaper, cardboard and magazines. To find out what you can recycle, where to recycle and who to contact for more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/recyclehereSC.
There may be items that can be recycled beyond the bin (e.g., plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs at major retailers). To learn more, visit here.
Most unwanted mail can be recycled or better yet - stopped. To learn more, click here.
If you collect recycled items in a plastic bag, empty the contents into the recycling cart/bin and either reuse or recycle the bag at the grocery store. To learn more, click here.