When it comes to recycling, you’ll want to know what construction materials are recyclable and what can’t. There are a few things you should avoid, though, including discarded plastic wrap and asphalt. Although some of these materials can be recycled, they’re not suitable for composting. That’s because the waste materials aren’t as clean as they could be. Here are some common examples of materials you shouldn’t recycle.
In general, plastics #1 through #7 can be recycled. Reusing aluminum cans can save 1,024 gallons of gasoline every year. Most food and beverage metal cans can be recycled, except for glass. Some areas don’t recycle glass, though. Some glass items are recyclable, so check with your local authorities before tearing them up. There are special services to pick up these items for you. However, these services aren’t available everywhere.
Plastic bottles are recyclable but you shouldn’t recycle plastic bags. Plastic wrap can tangle recycling equipment. Many grocery chains allow consumers to reuse these bags, and even have collection bins for them. Glass bottles are recyclable, but not all glass. That’s why you should think twice before recycling glass window panes, drinking glasses, and even glass art. In addition, plastic bags and wrap can cause a fire. The same is true for aluminum cans.
Another important issue to consider is the volume of materials used in construction. The amount of materials used for a new product has grown exponentially since 2000. Many of these materials end up in landfills where they take up valuable land and contaminate the environment. Most landfills in the US have an estimated capacity of eleven to sixteen years. In the future, more space will be needed for new landfills. Fortunately, these areas are mostly rural and contain natural vegetation, which helps reduce greenhouse gases. Urban areas are hard to find suitable sites for new landfills.
Many materials can be recycled. Plastic bottles can be difficult to sort, and are made from different materials. However, some of them cannot be recycled together. Those that are recyclable are laundry detergent bottles, plastic shopping bags, and soda and milk jugs. Colored plastics are also problematic for recycling and often end up in landfills. The problem with these materials is that they aren’t recyclable because they aren’t as versatile as others.