The Do’s and Do Not’s of Recycling
Hello and welcome to the official rPlanet Earth blog! This blog will be dedicated to
helping people make a positive impact on our environment, showing people how to live a green
lifestyle, and updating people on how we at rPlanet Earth are making a difference.
In today’s post, we are going to cover what to recycle and what not to recycle. First off,
recycle, recycle, recycle! Some people choose not to recycle, but that is environmentally harmful
and causes environmental pollution including our land, oceans and air. Recycling doesn’t make
your life any more complicated, so please do it! When it comes time to recycle, many people
find themselves confused about what they are allowed to recycle and not to recycle. Each state
and city have their own recycling laws and regulations, so I would recommend you do a little
more research once you finish this article, but we can advise you on a few of the everyday items
The first item is paper. Paper makes up 25% of all solid waste – more than any other
material. In 2015, around 67% of all the paper products were recycled and repurposed into new
products. When paper is recycled, it saves trees and other valuable natural resources, which is
why it is crucial that when you go shopping to look for recycled paper products. In the United
States, most communities accept paper recyclables but please double-check before you start
The second item are batteries. These are not recycled like paper, but instead need to be
recycled in certain stores or collection events sponsored by your local county, city, waste
disposal company, or health department. If these were to be thrown in the trash, the toxic metals
can damage the environment and take around 100 years to decompose fully.
The third item is glass. Glass is an item that can be recycled over and over again.
Whether it be a glass bottle or a glass food container, rinse them out and put them in your
recycling bin. These materials can be used to make new glass containers and bottles, meaning the
producers utilize fewer natural resources. Again, like paper, check with your local community’s
recycling program, but most do accept glass bottles for recycling.
The fourth item is used motor oil. Never dump this oil down the drain because it can
contaminate up to 1 million gallons of freshwater. When used oil is recycled, it only takes 1
gallon to produce 2.5 quarts of new motor oil, while it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to make the
same amount. Many auto-supply stores that sell motor oil accept your used oil and will recycle it
The fifth and final item are plastics. Plastics make up 13% of solid waste produced in the
U.S. and if not recycled can cause different types of environmental challenges. When plastic
bags and rings end up in the oceans, marine animals can eat them, get trapped in them, and injure
them, which can cause them to die. Annually over 55 million tons of plastics are produced in the
United States and about 440 millon tons are produced globally, while on average only 9% are
recycled. This can and must change. A common question asked is “are you allowed to recycle
water bottles, soda bottles, etc. with the lid or cap on it?” The answer is you can leave the caps
and lids on, it is even recommended you do so. Recyclers such as rPlanet Earth collect the
material from caps and rings and send it to other recyclers to ensure the plastic material is reused.
When recycling plastic in general, each community has its own guidelines and accept different
types of plastics. Again, research this and follow the instructions to help reduce the amount of
plastic that ends up in our landfill because plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. It can
vary from anywhere around 400 years to 1000+ years.
After reading this, we hope some of your questions have been answered, you understand
the importance of making the effort to recycle and you feel more comfortable recycling in your
household and community!