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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs a Spring Branch renter, you may be considering what you can do to live more sustainably. For most individuals, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these things can be recycled. Just because an item is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not automatically mean that it is recyclable. And placing non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is a big waste of time for you as well as the processing center. Here are some suggestions that may help you recycle the right way.


To know which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, experts suggest going by container shape. A common rule would be that plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just be sure to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

However, the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is a bit long, so it may come as a surprise to you. To cite a few examples, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable. However, plastic food containers and water bottles usually are. Other items that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

To add, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other forms of the plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. The reason behind this is that these items clog up the machines, and they would eventually end up in the landfill. So instead, these items are commonly recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag may be the cause of issues at the processing center.


Recycling glass can be more complicated than a lot of people think, mainly because processing centers don’t allow certain types of glass. In specific areas, the centers don’t allow any glass at all. While there are certain places that will only accept a specific kind of glass. Make sure to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the trash.

However, there are some types of glass that are just not recyclable at all. A few examples would be windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other mechanisms.


The same as glass, not all processing centers accept metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items and would want to recycle them, you’ll need to search for a place specializing in metal recycling. A lot of regular processing centers will not take in metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

In the same way, old televisions and electronics cannot be easily sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these items can be more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to search for a certain local electronics shop that will accept your old electronics. Some companies will take in certain old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not wanted anymore.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Many kinds of cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers permit newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are also typically all right, but it depends on what items your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to keep in mind that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (some oil is fine), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and certain types of paper are also not recyclable, so it’s essential to separate your paper items carefully before placing them in the trash bin.


By recycling correctly, you can do a lot to help your community as a renter. However, if your neighborhood is not going to support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Affiliates can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 713-539-5765.

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