Technically everything is recyclable. But most of us throw most things away. Each year, Americans generate hundreds of millions of tons of waste, and only about a third of it gets recycled. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Mark Lichtenstein, president and CEO of the National Recycling Coalition. There are plenty of objects and materials people commonly toss in the trash that they could be recycling. Electronics, hazardous chemicals, and bulky furniture are just a few examples.
“People just don’t know, they just don’t have the information,” Lichtenstein says. Just because an object isn’t covered by a community’s curbside recycling service — many of which only pick up paper, glass, metal and some plastics — doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled. Many communities have other options for those weird, bulky or otherwise difficult objects, like the ones below.