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Mistakes People Make When Recycling Green Materials

The world today campaigns for a greener ecosystem, raising more awareness of the benefits of recycling waste. While most people can differentiate between green materials and other types, most don’t know how to recycle green materials correctly.

What are Green Materials?

Green materials are naturally occurring materials with a low impact on the environment and human health. Green materials share the following characteristics:

  • They are highly recyclable
  • They are made from rapidly renewable raw materials
  • They do not contribute to global warming as they have low emissions
  • Negligible contribution to environmental pollution
  • They are energy efficient

Examples of green materials

Most green materials come from naturally occurring sources. Green materials include wood, ceramics, glass, composites, garden waste, paper, and cardboard, among others.

Common Mistakes People make when Recycling Green Materials

You care about the environment and endeavor to live an ecologically sustainable life. For that reason, you aim to sort all your waste and throw it in appropriately labeled bins. Sometimes, you even drive a few miles, just to dispose of it correctly. While your intentions are great, you could be making mistakes that make your green materials waste unrecyclable.

Below are some common mistakes you should avoid the next time you recycle green materials:

Wrapping your green materials waste in a black plastic bag

Since it’s impossible to tell what is in the bag, for safety reasons, most recycling facilities don’t open dark or black plastic bags. This means that any waste wrapped in a black plastic bag goes straight into a landfill. Similarly, if the facility uses an optical sorting system, it might not discern what’s in the bag. Thus, your recyclable green materials suffer the same fate as unrecyclable waste.

Recycling shredded paper

While most types of paper are recyclable, shredded paper is difficult to sort, which makes it difficult to convince recycling facilities to accept shredded paper. 

Although some facilities accept shredded paper if it is contained in a container such as a cardboard box, it’s best to sort shredded paper as composting waste.

Recycling dirty paper

Although recyclable, it is not possible to recycle these materials if they are greasy. For example, used pizza boxes are not recyclable. Also, in some cases, the paper or cardboard could be clean but as you throw out other items, you might taint them with leftover food, rendering the previously clean materials unrecyclable.

Leaving tape on recyclable green materials

Cardboard boxes often come wrapped in tape to secure the contents. Most people do not remove the plastic tape when throwing the cardboard box in the recycling bin. This nullifies your sustainability efforts as the plastic tape is not recyclable. The same goes for plastic gift wrappers and ribbons.

Recycle Green Materials Efficiently with Atlantic Waste Group

At Atlantic Waste Group, we are dedicated to helping Maryland residents reduce their carbon footprint through correct green materials recycling. Our team understands local waste and landfill regulations; we’ll be able to advise on how you can avoid the common mistakes people make when recycling green materials.

Do you reside in any of the following Maryland counties?

  • Anne Arundel
  • Baltimore
  • Prince George’s
  • Montgomery
  • Howard
  • Carroll

We’d be glad to help you recycle green materials efficiently. Call us today at 410-768-4720 or get in touch via our website; we’ll contact you promptly.