Earth911 Quiz #56: Does This Go in the Blue Bin?

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Editor’s note: “Does This Go in the Blue Bin” is one of our most-popular quizzes. We’re giving you another chance to challenge your knowledge of good recycling decisions.

Across the U.S., one of the biggest influences on recycling success is your decision about what to toss in the blue bin. Recycling “contamination” occurs when any unaccepted material gets mixed in with your recyclable items. Anything from food waste to the wrong kind of glass or plastic items can contaminate a load of recyclable materials. In this Earth911 Quiz, you’ll get 10 Yes, No, or Maybe questions about items you might put in the blue recycling bin. We include “Maybe” because different municipalities and recyclers may not accept some materials while others will.

Earth911 Quiz #56: Does This Go in the Blue Bin?

Across the U.S., one of the biggest influences on recycling success is your decision about what to toss in the blue bin. “Contamination” is any material that does not belong in the recycling stream, whether it is food waste on packaging or the wrong kind of glass or plastic resin that can get mixed in with the recyclables. In this Earth911 Quiz, you’ll get 10 Yes, No, or Maybe questions about the stuff that goes in the bin. “Maybe” is included because different municipalities and recyclers may not accept some materials while others will.

Our friends at ISRI, the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries, will be discussing “what is recyclable” at its national recycling convention this week. There is no national definition of recyclability, and with rapid changes in technology and materials, new recycling challenges evolve constantly.

Every week, Earth911.com challenges you with quizzes that test your sustainability savvy and help you make environmentally friendly choices when you shop, use products, and dispose of unwanted items.

Are PET plastic bottles recyclable?

The PET bottle, familiar as the packaging for soda, water, and juice, is technically recyclable, but can you be sure your local curbside program accepts them?

Are padded shipping mailers recyclable?

Can padded mailers, which are made of mixed paper and plastic and/or bubble wrap, recyclable by a single facility?

Are dirty diapers recyclable?

Can a dirty diaper be tossed in the blue bin for recycling?

Can products containing lead be recycled?

Lead-based paint has been retired in much of the world, but lead remains a component of many products, including batteries, pottery, lightbulbs, and others.Can these products be recycled in the blue bin?

Can all resin-labeled plastics be recycled?

If a plastic item has a plastic resin number, does that guarantee it can it be recycled?

If this quiz raises questions or presents ideas you’d like to talk about, start a conversation with the community in the Earth911.com Forum. Making smart sustainable choices requires practice. Earth911’s weekly sustainability quiz helps you hone your ability to recognize earth-friendly products and services. Through your daily choices — from transportation mode to purchases to waste disposal — you can make a positive difference. Feature image by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

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