pizza boxes cant recycle

Recycling is one of the best ways to help sustain and preserve the environment — but be careful. Certain items that seem to obviously be recyclable are in fact not and can taint the rest of the material with which it is bagged. Here is a run down of some of the most common items that are mistakenly thought to be recyclable:

1) Juice Boxes

The cardboard that juice boxes are made of are commonly coated with plastic rendering them inappropriate for the recycling process.

2) Pizza Boxes

That is, used pizza boxes. Although the average pizza box is completely cardboard, it becomes covered in oil and other contaminants when used to hold a pie. These contaminants disrupt the recycling process, which uses heat and water.

3) Styrofoam

It seems like a paper product, but Styrofoam is in fact made of petroleum, which makes it highly flammable and unsafe for recycling.

4) Wet Paper

Not only does fiber in wet paper become shorter, making them less valuable to recycling centers, it also potentially contaminates it. This includes paper napkins and towels, which are typically used to clean food from surfaces.

5) Wire Hangers

Typical recycling centers do not facilitate wire hangers, but the solution to disposing of them responsibly is easy enough. You can simply return them to the dry-cleaners on your next visit. Most dry-cleaning businesses actually request that their customers do so so that they may be reused.

6) Ceramics

Yet another material commonly thrown in the recycling bin but not accepted at processing centers. Try getting creative with your ceramics and give them a second life. As an example, you can use old mugs as a flower pot.

Tip: Processed containers like water bottles have recycling information imprinted on them. Always check to learn about the proper method of disposal.