Thursday, May 30, 2024
Waste Recycling

What I cannot Recycle – List of Non-Recyclable Items

Despite our best efforts, not every item can be recycled. Systems and laws governing recycling differ from nation to nation and even town to town.

It is essential to know what cannot be recycled because these goods will be disposed of in a landfill, burned, or the ocean.

There are many restrictions on what may and cannot be recycled, and the little markings that are sometimes seen on products don’t help to make things any clearer.

Due to the difficulty, sometimes we put things that cannot be recycled in the recycling container, which causes more harm than good. Unrecyclable objects can harm entire quantities of recyclable materials and even require entire recycling centers to close down, despite the fact that this may seem like a simple error.

Unrecyclable items can harm entire items of recycled waste and possibly force the closure of entire recycling facilities.

Read Also : How to Make Compost from Kitchen Waste

It’s vital to familiarize ourselves with the waste materials that cannot be recycled in order to avoid this from happening.

Tissues, paper plates, paper towels, and napkins are all made of paper, but unlike most paper products, they cannot be recycled. Similar to pizza boxes, these materials are difficult to “repair” during the recycling process since they come into contact with food scraps, grease, and sometimes human fluids.

The Following are the List of items that cannot be recycled

▪ Garbage

▪ Wasting food

▪ Contaminated foods (such as: used paper ▪plates or boxes, paper towels, or paper napkins)

▪ Crockery and ceramics

▪ Mirrors and windows

▪ Polythene wrap

▪ Bubble wrap and peanuts for packaging

▪ Wax jars

▪ Photographs

▪ Medical squander

▪ Styrofoam or polystyrene.

▪ Chemicals that are dangerous and chemical containers

▪ Toys made of plastic or sporting goods

▪ Boxes of foam eggs

▪ Bulbs made of wood

▪ Garden equipment or garbage


For take-out containers, Styrofoam is typically utilized. One of the best-known non-recyclable materials, these should always be avoided. It is built of polystyrene, which cannot be broken down by nature.

What I cannot Recycle – List of Non-Recyclable Items

Avoiding Styrofoam altogether in favor of more environmentally friendly materials is the best course of action. Though it might be accepted by some establishments close to you.

Physical Receipts

To be clear, paper receipts cannot be recycled. They have bisphenol-A in them because they were printed on thermal paper.

Paper receipts are not recycled because this chemical is difficult to remove from the paper during recycling. The safest approach is to dispose of receipts in the trash to prevent contamination of other paper goods in the recycling stream.

Bags for Market

Plastic bags are the unseen problem. These will end up in the recycling bin with other plastics if they are thrown in there, but they can be a big hassle to deal with at recycling facilities because they frequently become trapped and ruin recycling machinery.

At the Recycling Technology in Washington, for instance, staff members are compelled to cease operations about every two hours to clear the system of plastic bags. As a result, plastic bags are not accepted in almost all household recycling programs.

Other non-recyclable items with brief reasons why they are not recyclable

(1) Paper napkins, towels, or plates

These papers can’t be recycled for the following reasons:

▪ They typically have food, grease, or other liquids on them.

▪ The majority of tissue paper is already created from recycled paper, which cannot be recycled again due to the paper’s small fibers, which lead to low-quality pulp during the recycling process.

(2) Pizza trays

In other words, the oil, sauce, and pizza toppings frequently contaminate the paper.

Oils cannot be extracted by machines during recycling, and water is added to paper during paper recycling.

Pollutants like food grease or crumbs will destroy the entire batch if that occurs. Greasy pizza boxes should therefore be composted.

(3) Moist paper

It is more difficult to recycle paper when it is wet because the fibers get shorten and the paper quickly degrades.

Furthermore, wet paper and cardboard can block recycling equipment and make a huge mess in facilities where recycling is done.

(4) Stickers

Due to the glue used in them, stickers cannot be recycled.

The adhesive can affect recycling machines and cause them to become clogged, which is the main problem.

(5) Books

Since books are primarily made of paper, they are a highly recyclable product. Hardcover books, however, may be an exception because of their binding techniques.

Due to the fact that most binding techniques include glue, which cannot be recycled, many recycling facilities will only accept hardcover books. It is advisable to confirm the policies with your neighborhood recycling facility.

(6) Garment hangers

The majority of clothing hangers are composed of recyclable metal or plastic. However, it’s possible that they will pose issues during the recycling process due to their shape. At recycling plants, they become entangled in machinery.

(7) Medical wastes

Biohazards include items like prescription bottles, plastic syringes, and medical needles.

Due to safety concerns, you should get rid of these things in a waste disposal box because they can’t be recycled.

Hospitals, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and sometimes even government facilities have collection boxes available for use.

That kind of waste cannot be recycled for safety concerns, thus it is frequently burned in unique incinerators.

(8) Domestic glass

Glass is generally completely recyclable, but not all glass is made equal.

It is not possible to recycle window panes, mirrors, dishes, coffee cups, ceramics, pottery, plates, vases, and tableware.

Some are heat resistant and chemically modified to increase their durability.

Read Also : 4 Steps How to Make Diesel from Waste Oil

In conclusion, it is typically advised to:

▪ When you aren’t sure whether something can be recycled, throw it in the garbage.

▪ Not to use single-use, difficult-to-recycle things.

▪ Put an emphasis on durable, plastic-free, recyclable, and sustainably produced items.

Your recycling alternatives will vary depending on where you reside and what kind of service provider you have.

Some service providers let you combine all of your recyclables into one bin, with the exception of glass and plastic bags.

The majority of municipalities will offer plastic bag drop-off places, while some may encourage local food waste recycling that can be converted into sustainable gardening soil.


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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