Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22 but Palm Beach County residents can have an impact on the planet that lasts all year simply by reviewing what can and cannot be recycled.
Are you putting the correct items in your blue and yellow recycling bins? People are often surprised to find that used paper plates cannot be recycled in Palm Beach County, nor can plastic foam or coat hangers.
Need a refresher? Here is the official list:
- Plastic Bottles and Containers – Lids on; 2 gallons or less
- Cans, Food and Beverage
- Glass Bottles and Jars – Lids off
- Cartons, Milk and Juice– Lids on
- Drink Boxes - No pouches
- Cardboard - Cut and flattened to 36-inches x 36-inches or less
- Newspapers and Inserts – No plastic bags
- Office and School Paper
- Dry Food Boxes – No food stains
- Paper Bags
- Cardboard Paper Rolls
- Pizza Boxes – No food stains
- Plastic Bags
- Foam Products
- Aluminum Foil or Pans
- Shredded Paper
- Plastic Eating Utensils or Straws
- Paper Plates
- Paper Towels or Napkins
- Coat Hangers
- Light Bulbs
If you have a question about a specific item, just plug it into the new “What Goes Where?” app on the SWA website. Search for any kind of waste and find detailed disposal information. You can even find your pick up days and schedule reminders.
If you have any recycling questions at all or need new or additional recycling bins, you can always call 866-NEW-BINS or visit SWA.org/RecycleRight.
Of course, this is also the perfect opportunity to reexamine those other R words: Reduce and Reuse.
Reduce - Reduce your rubbish and buy in bulk. A family-size sack of chips creates way less waste than 50 individually-packaged snacks just as a gallon jug of water replaces eight disposable bottles of water. Choosing reusable goods can dramatically reduce your waste.
Reuse – Choose to reuse refuse that can’t be recycled. Donate old towels to animal shelters and take old clothing and furniture to secondhand stores.
With so many options to improve our community, it’s easy to see why we added a fourth R: Rethink! Before dropping an item in the trash, take a moment to consider whether it could be reduced, reused or recycled.
Happy 48th Earth Day from the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County!