Recycling for Kids

With all the recycling jargon out there it can be a bit intimidating. So, we’ve simplified the process for you with cheat sheets, games, and creative ways to get the whole family involved.

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The Recycling Process Made Simple

At its simplest, recycling is the method of collecting materials that would normally be thrown away and giving them another life. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always that simple. In order to make sure that all material is properly recycled, it’s important to follow a few key rules.

Plastic

On the underside of most plastic containers, you will find a recycling triangle with a number inside. Each number indicates a different type of plastic. Not all numbers belong in a recycling bin, and sometimes it can be hard to remember what goes where. Seeing that the capability of recycling facilities varies by neighborhood, it’s always best to check with your municipality to ensure you’re properly informed on what plastics they can handle. Here is a quick guide for each plastic number.

Plastic #1

Found in: Most clear plastic
Recyclability: Curbside recyclable

Plastic #2

Found in: Most thick plastic
Recyclability: Curbside recyclable

Plastic #3

Found in: Shampoo bottles, clear food packaging
Recyclability: Check with your local municipality

Plastic #4

Found in: Squeezable bottles, shopping bags
Recyclability: Check with your local municipality

Plastic #5

Found in: Syrup, ketchup and medicine bottles
Recyclability: Check with your local municipality

Plastic #6

Found in: Disposable plates, cups, carry-out containers
Recyclability: Check with your local municipality

Plastic #7

Found in: Three-gallon jugs, nylon, sunglasses
Recyclability: Check with your local municipality

Paper

Paper products come in many different shapes and sizes. Some look like the computer and notebook paper you might find at school or work, while there are others that are used in packaging and containers like cardboard and paper cups. When properly prepped, most paper products can be recycled by your curbside recycling program. Here are a few steps to prep your paper.

Make sure the paper is:

  • • Clean. No grease, food, or tape.
  • • Pure. No wax or plastic coating.
  • • Flat. Always break down large boxes.
  • • Not too colorful. Browns and whites are best.

Glass

Good news! Nearly all the glass in consumer-packaged goods is recyclable. Don’t worry about sorting by color, most curbside recycling programs take care of that once the glass gets to the factory. Be careful when recycling the type of glass not found at your grocery store. See below for tips on recycling glass.

  • • Make sure it’s clean; no food or dirt.
  • • Do your research when recycling electronic glass.
  • • When in doubt, leave it out.

Educational Games

Recycling is a responsibility that we all share, so it’s important that we teach our kids about its importance. The key to getting your kids on board is to turn recycling into a game rather than housework. Learning to recycle doesn’t have to feel like work. Here is a game that makes recycling a little more fun.

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