A Guide to Recycling Home Waste Properly in Ontario
Recycling can be a complicated and daunting affair. There are dozens of different materials that need to be handled differently, recycling laws that differ from province to province (and even city to city), and other guidelines on what can and can’t be recycled.
If you’ve been stressed about managing your waste in the most environmentally forward way, never fear. The article below breaks down the ultimate guide to recycling home waste properly in Ontario.
What shouldn’t be recycled?
Let’s start with the items that are considered unrecyclable in the province of Ontario. Just because a material is recyclable does not mean it can be placed in the bin without care. There are some materials and items that are absolutely not recyclable. These include hazardous waste, home healthcare products, and personal protective equipment waste. Examples of such items are disposable masks, gloves, pads, soiled dressing, IV bags, syringes, and dialysis waste. These items must be taken to a drop-off depot or managed through a toxic taxi pickup.
In addition, liner bags, bubble wrap, squeeze tubes, and any black items and materials cannot be recycled. Window glass, light bulbs, mirrors, toys, straws, aluminum, carpets, bedding, and wood are also not recyclable.
What goes in the blue bin?
In Ontario, the blue bin is where you throw the recyclable waste. Glass, rigid plastics, soft and stretchy plastics, metal, paper, and cardboard can be recycled easily. Some specific examples include cereal boxes, pizza boxes, toilet paper rolls, shredded paper, covered boxes, fine paper, paint cans, beverage cans, shopping bags, milk bags, food jars, disposable plates, soap bottles, and glass jars.
However, the caveat to remember here is that items thrown in the blue bin must be clean. Every article must be spotless. Why? Well, packaging with food waste on it will contaminate the other items it comes in contact with. This can contaminate a whole shipment of recycling materials at the facility, which means that the shipment will not be recycled. Thus, by trying to recycle items that are not thoroughly cleaned, you’re going against the very ethos of recycling! It is better to throw contaminated items in the trash.
Another point to remember is that recyclables must be correctly sorted. Place like items with like items, for example, plastics with plastics. Do not mix these with other materials like cardboard or glass.
Common Recycling Mistakes
Of course, a big no-no is leqaving food leftovers and scraps on items, which can ruin large batches of otherwise recyclable material. Many people also think that old clothes and shoes can be recycled. However, these can get caught in the sorting machines in the facility and damage equipment. The best way to deal with textiles and other similar items is to donate them to a thrift store or charity, or place them in the garbage.
You may also think that items marked compostable and biodegradable are easily recycled. However, things like coffee pods, containers, bags, and packaging are made or lined with bio-based plastic. While this makes for easy composting, it must not be mixed with recyclable items.
Another material to be mindful of is paper. Paper in the form of tissues, paper towels and waxed or lined paper items are not recyclable.
Lastly: electronics. Electronic devices like laptops, chargers, and mobile phones are filled with small quantities of high-value metals. For example, gold, platinum, palladium, tin, and zinc are commonly used in tech devices. While these are technically recyclable, it is better to drop them off at an electronic recycling center near you. Metals are liable to leak from such materials, contaminating a whole batch of other products. In addition, these materials can turn toxic or hazardous over time, which is why they must be handled separately and carefully.
How do I store and dispose of my recyclables?
This one is easy: utilize junk removal bins for all your recycling needs! Junk removal bins come in a variety of sizes, so you’ll be able to pick one based on your needs. The best part is that using a junk removal bin takes the guesswork out of recycling.
When you choose a company like Gorilla Bins, we recycle 100% of the junk we receive at our facility. For example, plastic is recycled, cardboard and paper go to paper mills, and clean wood is used for biomass energy. By booking a junk removal bin, you’re ensuring that your end-to-end process (buying the consumable and then disposing of it) is environmentally sound all the way through.
Recycling doesn’t have to be complicated and challenging. Instead, by following a few simple guidelines, you too can manage your waste in a sustainable and environmentally positive manner.
Need a little extra help managing all that waste? Getting junk removal bins is the way to go! At Gorilla Bins, we bring the container to you so that you can fill it up at your convenience. Simply schedule a pickup, and we haul away the waste for you. It really is that easy! And we recycle 100% of our junk at our processing facility, so you can rest assured that you’re doing your part for the planet.