Today as I was driving to town, I saw an old stove that had been put out for the trash. Could that stove have been recycled? If so, does the Recycle Center provide pickup for large items?
Dear Curious Recycler,
Yes, the stove could have been recycled as scrap metal. Unfortunately, the Recycling Center doesn’t provide pickup for large items. The amount of recyclable material that we receive at the Center every day requires that all staff be available to get materials processed in a timely manner.
Dear Recycle Lady,
Can zip-lock baggies be recycled? Must the zipper part of a zip-lock baggie be cut off before recycling it?
Zip It Shut
Dear Zip It Shut,
Zip-lock baggies are made from thin, flexible, polypropylene resin; the same product that makes milk jugs and trash bags. They are called “zip-lock” bags because their top is sealed together with an adhesive zipper or zip lock slider. These bags are recyclable at both Kroger and Wal-Mart in the plastic bag drop-off container. The zipper doesn’t need to be removed, but the bag must be clean and dry. Recycling these bags is definitely better than sending them to the landfill as they are not biodegradable, meaning they do not decompose. They only break down into small pieces of microplastic that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. Ziplock baggies can be washed and used again. Just be sure to use warm or cool soapy water as hot water would cause the plastic to melt. According to www.wideopeneats.com/reuse-plastic-bags, you should never reuse plastic bags that have had raw meat, poultry, or fish stored in them as there is a risk of spreading bacteria. The good news is that silicone reusable bags are now available in the same shapes and sizes as other zip-lock bags.
Dear Recycle Lady,
I have been tearing off the corner of stapled papers before putting them in recycling. Is it possible to recycle paper with staples in it?
Yes, paper can be recycled with staples left on it. Ordinary staples are made from 100% steel, which makes them easily recycled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “paper mills that process recovered paper are set up to remove common contaminants such as staples, from the pulped paper.” Therefore, it is not necessary to remove staples before recycling the paper. However, all paper clips MUST be removed as they tear up the belt during processing.
Kudos to the Tongass National Forest, located in Southeast Alaska,that has now officially been reinstated with roadless forest protections. Consisting of 16.7 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is the largest of the U.S. National Forests. Protecting this forest helps absorb climate pollution, preserve sources of clean drinking water, and shield wildlife and fish habitat from harm. Most of the forest area is a temperate rain forest and home to many species of endangered and rare flora and fauna. (fto.com)
Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.