Guest Column from Michelle Balz
Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can help the environment. However, it can be a bit confusing.
Here’s what you can recycle: any plastic bottle or jug, as long as the mouth is smaller than the rest of the container. Milk jugs, liquid laundry detergent jugs and shampoo bottles all qualify.
Glass bottles can also go in your curbside bin or cart, including jelly, tomato sauce, pickle and salsa jars. Remember to rinse out the container and remove the lid, which goes into your recycle bin separately.
All food-related metal cans are recyclable such as tuna fish, soup, fruit and vegetable cans. Metal beverage cans, such as pop, juice and beer cans, are also recyclable.
When it comes to paper, here’s an easy tip: if you can tear it, you can put it in your recycle bin. This goes for any paper that has not touched food. And now you can recycle paper cartons such as milk, orange juice, soups and juice boxes. Remove the caps or straws and drop the empty carton into your recycle bin or cart. If you have shredded paper from old bills or documents, put them in a clear plastic bag inside your cart to prevent littering.
Now for the tricky and overlooked items you can recycle. Empty aerosol cans – just remove the tip. The empty cardboard rolls of bathroom tissue and paper towels – you can recycle those too. We all love pizza, so recycle the clean box by removing food-stained paper or cardboard linings.
Here are the recycling don’ts: yogurt, butter and margarine containers. Clam shells and Styrofoam container are not recyclable. For paper products, do not recycle paper plates and napkins or bound books (consider donating them to Better World Books). Cooking glassware, light bulbs and broken glass do not belong in your recycle bin. When it comes to metal products, rule out metal hangers, scrap metal and aluminum foil.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our Recycling Hotline at 513-946-7766. You can find a complete list of what you can, and cannot, put in your recycle bin/cart or your local drop-off site at HamiltonCountyRecycles.org.
Michelle Balz is the assistant solid waste manager for the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District