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Recycling: It’s not just for Earth Day


In April each year, communities around the world celebrate Earth Day. At the heart of this special day is a commitment to take care of our planet’s resources for generations to come, and one way to do this is through recycling. Many recyclers have good intentions but there can be confusion about how to recycle right. That’s why Waste Management’s recycling experts are here to help.

Q: What can I recycle in my cart?Recycling can, mixed recycling, waste management, waste management northwest, think green Auburn, Auburn wa, Auburn, earth day


A: Recycle all your empty bottles, cans, paper and cardboard. To get everyone on the same page at home, we recommend setting up a recycling station and printing out a list of what can be recycled in your curbside cart. For tips on how to set up a recycling station, visit

Q: Do I need to rinse my recyclables before I put them in recycling?

A: Yes. It is important to make sure recyclables are clean and dry so they don’t contaminate clean materials.

Q: Can I put plastic bags in my recycling cart? Is it OK to put my recyclables in plastic bags and then put them in my recycling cart?


A:  No plastic bags in your curbside recycling cart! Plastic bags cause problems at recycling facilities, wrapping around machinery, slowing down the sorting process and causing safety hazards.

Earth day, what can I recycle, waste management, think green Auburn, wm, most common recycling contaminantsQ: How do I find out if something is recyclable?


A: Remember the phrase, “one bad apple spoils the bunch?” The same is true for recycling, where one non-recyclable item can spoil an entire batch of otherwise good materials. That’s why it’s so important to find out what’s recyclable before putting it in your curbside cart. When in doubt, check it out! Go to

In the spirit of Earth Day, share this information with others. The more we all recycle right, the more we do to make recycling sustainable for years to come!

Hannah Scholes is Waste Management’s education and outreach manager. Learn more about what can be recycled at

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