Plastic bags, styrofoam, electronics: Here are the items you should not recycle

With only one week until Christmas, it won't be long before we're enjoying holiday meals with family, opening presents, and generating a lot of trash.

If you want to do something good for the environment and recycle this holiday season, make sure you know what should go in that recycling bin and what should stay out.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is reminding everyone that you can help keep costs down and machinery running properly by recycling only what is accepted at material recovery facilities, or MRFs.
Too often, items like garbage bags, sticky food containers, hoses, and clothing end up in the facilities and get tangled around the equipment at MRFs.

Be sure you keep the following items out of your recycling bin:
  • Plastic wraps and extra packaging that came with your online purchases
  • Broken or unwanted holiday lights and other cables or cords
  • Garbage bags -- the number one contaminant
  • Food waste
  • Textiles
  • Scrap metal
  • Hazardous and medical waste

You can and should recycle the following:
  • Emptied and rinsed plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, and metal cans
  • Paper
  • Flattened cardboard

You can check with NCDEQ for more helpful tips on what to toss and what to recycle.
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