Recycling 101

Is it possible to recycle the “wrong way”?

Recycling can be selective; there are only certain things that can be recycled depending on the town. When the rules are broken than recycling becomes more difficult. For example when 10% trash is mixed into a recycling bin with 90% recyclables the entire thing becomes garbage.

Some rules for New Paltz are: plastic #3 and #6 are not recyclable; its best to remove the caps on your bottles; containers that still have food in them need to be washed out; paper needs to be sorted into a different bin than plastic/metals because they are collected separately.

What is the value of recycling?

Although the rules can be confusing recycling is extremely important because it prevents things from taking up space in a landfill. There is actually no such thing as throwing your trash “away”; you are simply sending it to another place, like a landfill in Michigan.

Recycling also saves a lot of energy because the materials are already present to be reused instead of having to be taken from the earth. For example a plastic water bottle is more easily melted down and turned into a fleece jacket than having to extract the raw materials from the earth to then make polyester. By recycling, not only are we preserving our natural resources but also preventing pollution and saving energy.