Dear Recycle Lady

Dear Recycle Lady,

After the Super Bowl was over, T-shirts were immediately available for sale imprinted with the champion’s name and logo. Thus, there must have been two sets of T-shirts printed; one with each team named as champion. What happens to the set of T-shirts that have the loser’s name printed as the champion?



Dear Curious,

A reader wrote a similar question to the Parade’s Ask Marilyn column last Sunday. Marilyn’s answer was that the loser’s T-shirts are sent to an international aid group that distributes them to impoverished countries and places that have had a disaster. Three cheers for the Super Bowl officials that authorized reusing these T-shirts instead of trashing them.


Dear Recycle Lady,

We buy maple syrup in a plastic bag that looks like foil inside. How can we recycle this bag?

Foil or Not Foil


Dear Foil or Not Foil,

Your maple syrup bag sounds like some potato chip and cracker bags: they look like aluminum foil, but they aren’t. Do a quick test to see if the bag is actually foil by crumpling the bag up in your hand. If it is aluminum foil, the bag will remain crumpled. If the bag unfolds, you know it is not aluminum foil and it will not recycle. Your bag probably will not recycle. Perhaps your maple syrup comes in another type of container that is recyclable or, hopefully, in the future in a refillable container.


Dear Recycle Lady,

Junk mail often contains not only paper, but it also may contain address labels or advertisements on glossy paper or “slicks.” Do these slicks need to be removed before I put the entire envelope in recycle? What about the address labels?

Slicks Remover


Dear Slicks Remover,

Yes, these slicks must be removed before the envelope and contents are put in with paper. The slicks are put with magazines. Some envelopes are also on slick paper and they must also go in with magazines. I use a letter opener to slice open the top of the envelope, then pull out any slicks and address labels, and recycle the rest. This process doesn’t require much time once you are accustomed to it. If you are a recycler, but don’t have the time to open the envelopes and remove the slicks, just put the unopened envelopes in with the magazines, unless they contain address labels, which must be removed as they are not recyclable. If unopened envelopes are put in with the office paper and they have slicks in them, the slicks will contaminate the office paper they are bundled with.


Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.

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