Recyclopedia: Can I recycle it?

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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

What REALLY Happens to Your Recycling? 🤔

After our recycling leaves the curb, how many of us really understand the next steps in the journey? Good news: Recycle Smart MA just launched a new, interactive webpage that goes behind the curtain to explain the recycling life cycle. Check out the Recycling Road Map now!

The Second Annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-Palooza! ♻️

In honor of America Recycles Day next month (November 15), MassDEP and the Recycle Smart MA Team are excited to bring you a series of informative and fun webinars we think you’ll enjoy, all month long!

Cardboard Is Living Its Best Life Right Now (and it can, 6 more times) 🤯

Have you noticed an increase in cardboard in your life? Ever wonder what happens to it once you put it in the recycling bin and hope it’s not going to waste? We’ve got good news – it’s not. Cardboard is having a resurgence in demand we haven’t seen in the US in decades. Learn how cardboard is living its best life right now.

Summer Reading: Recycle Smart Style

The Recycle Smart Team is taking a "newsletter break" this summer to focus on other projects. In the meantime, we wanted to share some of our favorite reads from the last two months. We'll be back with our regular deep dive newsletter before you know it. "See you" in September!

Summer: The Season of Sharing

From an early age we are taught that “sharing is caring.” We encourage our kids to take turns sharing their toys, books, and snacks with siblings and friends. While this certainly can cut down on toddler temper tantrums and bickering, you may be wondering what sharing has to do with reducing waste?

Spring Cleaning: Recycle Smart Style

Overwhelmed by your spring decluttering project? You are not alone. American homes are filled with more than 300,000 items, and this only includes visible objects. It does not include everything tucked into dresser drawers and cabinets or stored away in boxes — and tuck away and store we do!

It's in the bag...

Do you remember life before plastic grocery bags? When “produce bags” meant small brown paper bags and we wrapped sandwiches in waxed paper bags? For most of us, these are distant memories, if that. Plastic grocery bags first hit U.S. supermarkets in 1979 after taking European markets by storm in the 1960s. Since then we’ve developed a serious plastic bag habit.

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..,

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? ...

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...

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...

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Check Us Out On Social Media

Looking to compost more in 2022? Check out this informative video by a Melrose high school student about the basics of composting, getting started, and how compost helps us reduce waste and give back to the earth 🌎. https://bit.ly/3IvQIX9⁣

#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #RecyclingInMA #Reduce #Reuse #Recycle #Compost #FoodWaste #Foodies #GoGreen #SustainableFoodie #Composting

#DYK most fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury? Never put them in the trash or recycling bin! They will break and release mercury into the air, which is toxic if inhaled. Find a drop-off location to dispose of them safely: https://bit.ly/DropOffBulbs
What happens if you break a mercury-containing light bulb at home? Follow these guidelines to protect yourself and others: https://bit.ly/3zqMLi4⁣⁣
#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #Reduce #Reuse #Recycle #Mercury #MercuryLamp #Lamp #Lightbulb #Light #Bulb #Flourescent #CLF #MercuryRising #LightItUp

Wondering how clean your cans, jars, jugs and tubs need to be for recycling? You're not alone! Wipe or rinse them to remove most liquid or food residue, which can contaminate other recyclables. No need to remove the paper labels!⁣

Find more FAQs and tips: https://bit.ly/3y1crkS⁣

#ProTip: Use a rubber spatula to remove peanut butter and other sticky stuff from containers. Trust us, it works much better than soap and water! ⁣

#RecycleSmart #RecycleSmartMA #RecyclingInMA #Reduce #Reuse #Recycle #RecyclingTip #Cans #Jars #GoGreen #SustainableMA #PeanutButter #Soup

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