Recyclopedia: Can I recycle it?

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or trash?
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Test your knowledge about recycling in Massachusetts.

Smart Recycling Guide

Here’s what can and can’t go in your recycling bin.

The Video

Why these common items don’t belong in the bin.

Featured Stories

Women in Waste (& Recycling)

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, The Recycle Smart MA team is thrilled to share this inspiring article written by Sofie Green, Maureen Hennessy, and Bethiah Peirce. These three young women are all 8th graders in Medford and part of the Medford Girl Scout Troop 68137.

It’s Thyme to Talk Organics.

Raise your hand if you know exactly what we mean when we talk about organics in the waste stream. If you couldn’t raise your hand, don’t worry. The term “organics” can be confusing and vague. Depending on where you are, you might hear “leaf and yard waste” referred to as organics, or you may see organics referred to as “compost.”

Can you feel the love?

There’s a lot to love about aluminum cans, and not just because they contain some of our favorite beverages. The pandemic spiked a huge demand for aluminum cans as Americans bought record amounts of canned beverages to consume at home while local bars and restaurants were forced to close their doors.

2020: Is it over yet?

2020. What a year. A global pandemic, a stock market crash, Black Lives Matter protests, murder hornets, wildfires along the West Coast and in Australia, Space-Ex launched astronauts into space, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving the royal family – what’s next?

What's in your closet?

Have you ever looked in your closet and decided you have NOTHING to wear? Turns out, you are not alone. According to a 2018 survey done by Nordstrom Trunk Club, 61% of the 2,000 Americans they surveyed experience “wardrobe panic” despite having a closet full of clothes.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-palooza!

In honor of the 23rd  anniversary of America Recycles Day on November 15 (and a do-over for Earth Day), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has compiled a month of informative programming we’re calling Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-palooza!

Let's Talk about Plastic: Are My Take-Out Containers All Trash?

Dear Wicked Smart Recycler,

I just found out black plastic isn’t recyclable and my go-to restaurant uses black plastic take-out containers. I want to support local businesses during this critical time. Help! What do I do?

No Matter How You Slice It

The paper recycling mill called… they want your pizza boxes. Ok, maybe you haven’t received the call personally (yet) but the U.S. box manufacturing industry wants Americans to know that their pizza boxes..,

Massachusetts’ Recycle Smart Tackles Contamination With Education

MassDEP convened a series of stakeholder meetings to discuss contamination of waste—it had become apparent that levels were rising to concerning levels, especially in single stream recycling.

Let's Talk About Plastic (part 2)...

Dear Wicked Smart Recycler,

I get that you can only recycle plastic bottles, jugs, jars and tubs here in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, my favorite coffee comes in a non-recyclable plastic pouch. It’s #PlasticFreeJuly and I don’t know what to do – help!

Let's Talk About Plastic...

Dear Wicked Smart Recycler,

I recently watched a special about plastic recycling and now my head is spinning. I found out that all of the plastic that I’ve been recycling is either ending up in the ocean or going to developing countries where it is being burned or dumped...

A Day in the Life at a Recycling Facility

Meet Moe. Okay, his real name is Ed but “Ed Says No” just didn’t have the same ring to it. You may recognize Ed (er, Moe) from the Recycle Smart social channels reminding you what wacky items shouldn’t go in your recycling bin...

Every Day Is Earth Day When You Recycle Smart

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and boy, have we come a long way since the first one. Let’s take a quick trip back, shall we? ...

MA Trash & Recycling Updates During COVID-19

While we are all adjusting to the “new normal”, many folks are wondering if anything has changed with recycling. Good news. Collection of trash and recycling is considered an “essential service” under Governor Baker’s executive order...

Cooped up at Home?...

Inspired by our friends at the City of Cambridge, the Recycle Smart Team wanted to share some tips for how to reduce waste while you are practicing social distancing. You may be getting less use out of your reusable coffee tumbler lately...

Breaking up with Single-Use Plastics

We wouldn’t normally recommend breaking up on Valentine’s Day – but when we reflect on our love/hate relationship with single-use plastics – sometimes enough is enough...

Do you have 20/20 Recycling vision?

While recent news stories about recycling might have you believe otherwise, the answer is an emphatic no, recycling is not a wasted effort. The cans, bottles and paper you put in your recycling bin are part of an important supply chain..

Holiday E-Commerce Recycling

Massachusetts residents can expect a blizzard of boxes this holiday season with the U.S. Postal Service estimating it will deliver a mind-boggling 910 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year...

Thankful Not Wasteful

With the holiday season fast approaching, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the topic on all of our minds…. food. Despite our love of Thanksgiving leftovers – it turns out we aren’t that good at gobbling up all of our food, especially at the holidays...

Making every thread count...

While clothing and other textiles do not belong in your recycling bin - that doesn't mean they belong in the trash! Here’s a staggering fact: the amount of clothing that is thrown away each year in the United States has increased 43 percent between 2003 and 2013...

WCVB’s Chronicle Dives into Recycling

NEEDHAM, Mass. — Nearly all residents in Massachusetts say they recycle, but according to the state Department of Environmental Protection, about half of them are not recycling properly. Recycling contamination both costs cities and towns money...

Plastics – What’s recyclable and what becomes trash

NPR – August 21, 2019 – Every year, the average American goes through more than 250 pounds of plastic waste, and much of that comes from packaging. So what do we do with it all?

#BottleCapChallenge 2.0 - Put a lid on it

Let’s talk about the #bottlecapchallenge. In case you missed it – this is the latest social media craze that has people all around the world showing off their karate skills kicking lids off soda bottles...

Mercury Rising

Whew – it’s been one hot summer! Let’s talk about another “hot topic”: mercury. Specifically, batteries that contain mercury. In this issue, we’re doing a deep dive into batteries (all kinds!) and what to do when you’re finished with them...

Winchester takes recycling a notch up

Winchester has kicked its recycling program up a notch. The effort is part of the state-wide initiative Recycle Smart by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Read the full story...

From Cans to Cars...Aluminum and Steel are Infinitely Recyclable

Metal food and beverage cans are probably the most readily recyclable items in our homes and workplaces. But not everyone knows the difference between these two kinds of metals or what happens to them once they’re collected...

What holiday items can be recycled?

Check out this short news clip from WWLP-22 featuring how to Recycle Smart this holiday season. From wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, to paper plates, napkins and utensils – your most pressing holiday recycling questions answered.

Is Recycling a Waste?

It seems like every day another negative recycling story hits the news. It’s no wonder our neighbors, friends and family are asking “is my recycling just going to a landfill?” or “should I even bother?”

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Springing into gardening this year? Try out this trick to create a low-waste mini-greenhouse from plastic salad containers: bit.ly/2Opf51o ⁣

Fill the container halfway with soil, plant the seeds, close the lid, and watch your plants grow 🌱.⁣

📸 @MotherEarthNewsMag

#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #RecyclingInMA #Recycle #Reduce #Reuse #Garden #Gardening #GardeningTips #Greenhouse #Spring #ZeroWaste #GreenLiving #GoGreen #SustainableMA

Taxes can be complicated, but one thing is for sure: shredded paper does not belong in the recycling bin. The tiny pieces stick to other recyclables and can’t be separated.⁣

The good news: many communities host shredded paper collection events. More info: bit.ly/2Nk9epX⁣

You can also try composting shredded paper at home! Add the paper to a backyard compost bin with water to dampen it. Sprinkle with soil, add kitchen scraps, and in 3 months you'll have new soil ready to go!​⁣

#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #RecyclingInMA #TaxDay #Taxes #April #Shredder #Composting #WhatGoesIn #Confetti #ShreddedPaper #Paper #Documents #Massachusetts

One week until this special Earth Day composting webinar!⁣

Home composting is easier than people might think. Most of the work is done by nature’s composting work force (decomposers). All we have to do is feed them our food scraps and yard waste, give them air, water, and a place to live, and they’ll do the hard work of converting our “garbage” into “gold” for our gardens–black gold. Compost can restore life to soil and help plants thrive. ⁣

You can singlehandedly reduce your trash to practically zero if you compost, reduce, reuse, and recycle! Register here: bit.ly/3foYHcr⁣

#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #RecyclingInMA #Recycle #Reduce #Reuse #EarthDay2021 #EarthDay #Earth #Day #Composting #Compost #Sustainability #Sustainable #WednesdayWisdom #SaveThePlanet #PlanetEarth #GoGreen #ZeroWaste #PlasticFree

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