Dear Recycle Lady

Dear Recycle Lady,

I use an inhaler that comes sealed in an aluminum pouch, placed in an aluminum tray and then in cardboard box. I know the cardboard box and aluminum tray will recycle, but I am not sure about the aluminum pouch. It is definitely aluminum as I tested it with a magnet, but it has a slick paper label glued on it. Fortunately, the glued on label can be removed. Must the paper label be removed before the aluminum cover is recycled?


Dear Asthmatic,

Yes, the paper label must be removed from the aluminum cover before it can be recycled. Once the label is removed, label can be recycled with slicks/magazines. Kudos to the company that uses totally recyclable packaging. Hopefully, more companies will do the same for the sake of our environment.


Dear Recycle Lady,

During my voluntary stay-at-home this winter, I have worked jigsaw puzzles. Unfortunately, sometimes a piece of a puzzle is lost, and the puzzle is no longer perfect. Since the puzzles are made of cardboard, can they be recycled with cardboard, or are the small pieces a problem?


Dear Puzzler,

Putting together jigsaw puzzles is great fun and no one wants to lose a piece, but it happens. Although they are made of cardboard, puzzle pieces are too small to be recycled. They will fall out during baling and fall out of a bale when being transported. Thus, stray pieces end up littering the highways. Perhaps some jigsaw puzzle fans don’t mind doing a neat puzzle even though they know a piece is missing. If the missing piece were circled on the picture on the box, it would be helpful the new puzzler. Any ideas, readers, as to what to do with jigsaw puzzles that have a piece or two missing?


More good news: On Jan. 1, 2021, Mexico City’s environmental secretary said via Twitter that “from today on, Mexico City is without single-use plastics.” This ban includes single-use containers, forks, straws, bags, and more. This is great news for the environment! According to CBS News ( over 60 countries have introduced bans and/or fees to cut single-use plastic waste. Erik Solheim, head of U.N. Environment, an agency of the United Nations, said that “Rwanda, a pioneer in banning single-use plastic bags, is now one of the cleanest nations on earth.” Why can’t Greenbrier County institute a single-use plastic ban?


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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