Composting and recycling seem like straightforward systems, but as with most processes, there are shades of gray to the black and white designations of "plastic", "paper", and "glass".
I found this list on Mother Nature Network and thought it was a nice refresher for those of us who've ever stood over a recycling bin with an item and wondered if we were helping the process or muddling it up, since not all paper, glass, and plastic can be recycled equally.
Here are a few non-compostable/non-recyclable items to be aware of. Head on over to Mother Nature Network for the full list.
- Bread products, as they will attract pests.
- Meat products, which will also attract pests and bacteria in a general compost pile. There are, however, specially designed composting bins that can be used to compost meat and dairy.
- Heavily coated or printed paper. The printing chemicals will leak into your compost and cause contamination.
- Cooking oil, which can disrupt the moisture balance in compost and also attract pests.
- Rice, as it can become a breeding ground for bacteria that can harm the quality of your compost.
- Brightly dyed paper, as the colored ink can leak and alter the color of other items.
- Juice boxes and wax-coated cardboard containers. If the containers have not been marked as recyclable, they are not suitable for recycling.
- Napkins and paper towels are considered unsuitable for recycling due to contaminants they may have absorbed.
- Wet paper is not recyclable because of possible contaminants and damage to the fibers.
- Plastic screw-on tops. While plastic bottles are recyclable, the tops are not considered suitable for recycling.