What Can Be Recycled?

recycledTo make your trash eligible for recycling, you need to know which items can be recycled and which cannot. To make it easier for you, we have put together a list of things you can and can’t recycle. Remember to keep these categories separate. Also, rinse any food containers before you place them in the recycling bins for health and safety reasons.

 

Paper

Recovery rate in SA: 59%

The following CAN be recycled:

  • White office paper
  • Magazines and books
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard (boxes and cereal boxes)

The following CANNOT be recycled:

  • Laminated or waxy paper
  • Punch confetti
  • Carbon paper
  • Stickers

Apparently, shredded paper is a bit difficult to recycle as it can be mixed with unrecyclable materials. If you don’t want to just throw it away, you can always donate it to the SPCA – they can use it as bedding for the animals they look after.

 

Metal Cans

Recovery rate in SA: 69%

The following CAN be recycled:

  • Cold drink and beer cans
  • Food tins
  • Metal lids of glass jars
  • Aluminium cans, foil, and foil packaging
  • Paint, oil, and aerosol cans (leave labels on them so recyclers can see whether they contain hazardous material).
  • Rusty cans

Almost all metals can be recycled as they are melted and used again.

 

Glass

Recovery rate in SA: 25%

The following CAN be recycled:

  • Beverage bottles
  • Food jars such as tomato sauce, jam and mayonnaise bottles

The following CANNOT be recycled

  • Drinking glasses
  • Pyrex glassware
  • Light bulbs (but dispose of them carefully)

 

Plastics

Recovery rate in SA: 17%

Plastics are a bit more difficult, as each type of plastic needs to be recycled separately. Luckily, most plastics are imprinted with a logo to help you distinguish between the different ones.

There are 7 different types of plastic and they are numbered as follows:

1 – PET – POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE

2 – HDPE – HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

3 – PVC – POLYVINYL CHLORIDE

4 – LDPE – LOW-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE

5 – PP – POLYPROPYLENE

6 – PS – POLYSTYRENE

7 – OTHER – VARIETY OF OTHER PLASTICS INCLUDING ENGINEERING PLASTICS

Some plastics are unmarked so you can put them with the category 4 plastics and the companies that are responsible for these will sort it out. If you want more information about the different types of plastic, you can read this article.

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