4 ways to be a better, safer recycler

Follow these rules to make sure your curbside items get recycled properly

EGLE Safer Recycling on Live in the D
EGLE Safer Recycling on Live in the D

More and more people are recycling these days, which is great, but have you thought about what you are actually tossing into that recycling bin?

Not everything can go just willy nilly into those curbside bins.

To help us get our recycling game in order, we spoke to the experts at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE for short, so we can “know it before we throw it.”

Here’s how the recycling process works: Once all the materials from the community’s recycle bins are gathered, it is then brought to a facility to be sorted. Dangerous materials like items that are too big or wet can cause problems -- and will, unfortunately, be pitched.

So, here’s what you can do to make sure your recyclables actually get recycled.

1) If it’s sharp, keep it out. Items like scissors, needles or kitchen knives are not recyclable.

2) Batteries are another no-no. The chemicals in them can be dangerous.

3) Keep your items a manageable size. If an item is too large or cumbersome, the sorters won’t be able to easily process it. Make sure it is broken down in such a way that the average person can handle it easily. Items like stoves and refrigerators should not be recycled with your regular curbside recycling; they require a special facility.

4) Spray cans, motor oil, old paint and other hazardous waste can be recycled at special events and drives only -- not with your regular recycling. Keep an eye out for places and events that take them.

For more details, watch the video above or visit the EGLE website.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.