It’s the age-old sustainability question: Can I recycle this?

We’ve all been there, awkwardly hovering before the waste bins, debating which one to use and feeling like the whole office is watching us decide. It’s an admirable problem to have, of course. It shows you care about environmental sustainability and the future of our planet.

That doesn’t mean, though, it shouldn’t be solved. When you throw something recyclable into the trash, it could very easily end up in a landfill. You probably don’t need a zero-landfill initiative company to tell you why that’s an issue!

On the other hand, if you throw something that can’t be recycled into the recycling bin, it means a whole extra step for your recycling services – and probably a whole lot more energy expenditure to complete that step. Plus, certain non-recyclable materials can even clog up a recycling plant’s machinery. Talk about ruining a good thing!

As a sustainability-oriented business, it’s critical that you learn, at least on a cursory level, what can be recycled and what cannot. Multiplying the slight inconvenience that comes with a wayward non-recyclable can lead to huge hiccups, and inflating landfills with your business’s recyclables is, obviously, problematic.

Read on for a basic “recycle-or-trash” guide from LJP Waste Solutions, your North Mankato provider of green commercial waste services.

Can I Recycle That? A Primer

We all probably are at least somewhat familiar with what can be recycled. Plastics, metals, papers, and glass are common denizens of recycle bins everywhere.

 However, within these categories, there’s a lot of variation, and sometimes, something that looks like it could be recycled simply has to go to your waste-to-energy company instead. Not everyone has a working knowledge of these nuances, and if your company as a whole is unaware of them, you could majorly mess up your sustainability endeavors.

Got questions? Just call LJP Waste Solutions! We’re happy to correspond with our customers and help their businesses achieve their sustainability goals.

A few things to keep in mind if you’re considering the “can I recycle that” conundrum on your own include:

Not All Plastics Are Recyclable

Plastics can be touch-and-go when it comes to recycling. Yes, many plastics can absolutely be recycled, so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve historically been tossing them into that bin.

However, like we said earlier, the “recyclable” categories are broad, and within them there are many shades of gray. Plastics are no exception. Depending on who you hire for your waste solutions, some companies may not, for example, take tiny bits of plastic, as it can make trouble for their machines.

Check in with your recycling services and clarify if you’re preoccupied with plastic issues!

Some Uncommon Items Are Okay

Alcohol-based thermometers can go in with LJP’s Recycling. We can’t speak for all recycling companies, but we can speak for ourselves, and if you’re a customer with LJP your alcohol-based glass thermometers are safe in recycling. However, please do not recycle other types of thermometers, especially ones which contain mercury. That notorious chemical does quite a bit of environmental harm.

When In Doubt, Ask the Experts or Trash It

Please don’t recycle anything you have doubts about. Recycling machines are designed only to handle certain kinds of materials, and anything else can seriously throw a wrench in a recycling company’s entire day. From the bottom of our hearts as a waste solutions company, we implore you to recycle conscientiously.

But I Feel Bad Throwing Things Away!

It’s an unfortunate reality these days that not everything can be recycled. Sharp objects and fluorescent bulbs, for example, often or (or always, in some areas) require special processing in order to be safely disposed of.

We as humans sometimes do a poor job of coexisting with the environment, so it’s no wonder that you feel guilty when throwing something in the trash or working with a waste disposal company who loves landfills.

Get rid of that guilt and partner with LJP Waste Solutions. Our North Mankato team provides everything from smart waste sorting to waste-to-energy services, in which we turn your trash into clean, green power. With our help, you’ll overhaul your waste system, learn how you can be a better steward to the planet, and move towards more sustainable (and less guilt-inducing!) waste management practices.

Learn how you can become completely zero landfill with LJP, or work towards your sustainability goals in other ways with the help of our innovative team. When we step in to manage your waste, we’ll also send you accurate and concise reports about where your trash and recyclables are going, so that you can feel less guilt and stay on top of your sustainability goals.

From start to finish to continued implementation, our waste solutions team is as here for you as much as we are for the planet.

Contact LJP Waste Solutions and Square Away Your Waste Today

Our North Mankato company can’t wait to help you make an environmental difference. Give us a call today at 507-625-1968.