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What goes in the recycling bin? We've got the answers!
Anna Church '21, Chloe Shen '21, Aniver Smith '21, Alex West '21

Recycling is important because it keeps our environment clean and helps with waste. With small changes in our habits around recycling, we can help the world have a better, cleaner tomorrow. Over 800 marine-life species worldwide are affected by debris in the water, and little over 80 percent of that debris is plastic. This is a huge issue that can be easily changed with recycling. Recycling helps to reduce pollution caused by waste, including the greenhouse gases that cause air pollution – meaning there's more CO₂ and other pollutants in the air than oxygen.

This is why our team has taken on this issue here at Saint Mary's. Greenhouse gases are affecting people all over the world. In 2016, the U.S. burned 15.3 percent of all fossil fuels being burned around the world or 5.31 gigatons (1 gigaton=1 billion tons); and China burned 29.2 percent (34.8 gigatons) of fossil fuels - all causing a lot of air pollution. Recycling could help keep our air cleaner, so that is why we ask for our community to make small changes in how they recycle, because each item recycled makes a difference. That way we can have a brighter, cleaner environment as adults in the world and leave our children with a world we would be happy to call our own.

Some of you may be asking "What goes in the recycling bin?" Well, we're here to help! Questions about recycling can be easily answered, so here is a list of things that CAN be recycled:

  • Newspapers and magazines: Should be loose. No stringed bundles.
  • Scrap paper: Including phone books, toilet paper rolls, catalogs, shredded paper (bagged) and junk mail (clear plastic windows are OK).
  • Food boxes: Including cereal boxes, cardboard egg cartons, milk and juice cartons, and soup and broth cartons that don't need refrigeration (also known as aseptic containers).
  • Corrugated cardboard and brown paper bags: Flattened. No strings.
  • Wrapping paper and cards: No foil, glitter or plastic coatings.
  • Bottles with necks: Six ounces or larger
  • Tubs: Including yogurt, salsa, sour cream and dip containers six ounces or larger. Rinsed. No lids.
  • Jugs and jars: Including milk jugs and peanut butter jars. Rinsed. No lids.
  • Rigid plant pots: Four-inches or larger.
  • Buckets: Five gallons or smaller. Handles are OK.
  • Aluminum: Cans, clean foil, and food trays. No baked-on food.
  • Steel and tin food cans: Empty aerosol cans.
  • Dry metal paint cans: Less than an inch of paint is OK.
  • Small metal items and scrap metal: Including bottle caps, nails, and metal items smaller than 30 inches and lighter than 30 pounds.
  • Kept away from other recycling materials:-Bottles and jars: Rinsed. All colors OK. No lids. Nothing broken.

When in doubt, throw it out, or consider new ways to reuse, repair and share!