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Source: jamesoladujoye

The 3 Surprising Reasons Your Recycling Still Ends Up In A Landfill

By Nicole Caldwell

There’s a small sense of victory we get when we located a recycling bin in a public place, or realize how much we’re keeping out of the waste stream when we sort and recycle our trash at home. And why shouldn’t there be? Global plastic consumption is way up—from 5.5 million tons in the 1950s to 110 million tons in 2009. Unfortunately, a lot of what you think you’re recycling, you may not be. Here are the main reasons what you sort isn’t always ending up where it ought to.

Your paper product has grease on it. 

You’ve probably noticed that paper plates, cups, and cardboard takeout containers, like pizza boxes, proudly sport recycling logos. Unfortunately, once used they’re essentially impossible to recycle. That’s because the grease and food that gets into the paper is almost impossible to get out. This is true for pizza boxes, soiled paper napkins, paper bags with baked goods… the list goes on.

While plastics with remnants of mayo or peanut butter can be rinsed clean and then recycled, paper is just not that way. If you're trying to be eco-conscious, you’re better off composting all your cardboard and paper food containers—or foregoing them altogether. In many cases, a single contaminated paper plate can render the entire contents of a recycling bin contaminated.