Five tips for demystifying the recycling bin

If you’re like me, you still have questions about how to recycle certain types of packaging and containers. Let’s shed some light on some of these issues! Here are 5 questions and answers to help you become better recyclers.

1. Should I separate the different materials that make up a container or packaging?

Yes. Separating the components makes work easier for employees at the sorting centre, but only if they’re made of different materials. For example, it’s best to remove metal lids from glass jars, and put the two items in the bin separately. Don’t forget to remove the plastic bags from inside cereal boxes before you recycle them. However, it’s the opposite for plastic bottles with plastic caps: it’s best to leave the cap on the bottle. Also, it’s not necessary to remove labels from metal cans, or plastic windows from envelopes.

2. Are biodegradable, oxodegradable and compostable bags recyclable?

No. These three types of bags must not be placed in the bin, as they are made of starch or conventional plastic that contains an additive. Their characteristics, which are different from conventional plastics, make them non-recyclable. It’s best to reuse and compost them if they are compostable, and put them in the trash can at the end of their useful life.

3. Should I take the flyers out of the plastic bag?

Yes. In addition to removing the bag to make the sorting process easier, place all bags in one bag and tie the handles together.

4. Are stickers recyclable?

No. The glue on stickers makes them non-recyclable — to be avoided!

5. Are pizza boxes recyclable?

Although it’s best not to put soiled paper or cardboard in the bin, a little grease on pizza and donut boxes doesn’t hinder the recycling process. If they are too soiled, compost them!

Do you have other questions about recycling containers or packaging?





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About the Author
Anne-Marie Gingras

A Communications Advisor with Cascades since 2011, Anne-Marie now also fulfills the position of Community Manager. She holds a BA in Public Communication from the Université Laval and a Certificate in Marketing from the Université de Trois-Rivières. As Community Manager, she is in constant contact with the public, sharing the company's newest innovations and reporting on its involvement within the communities it calls home. "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work for a company that is responsible, respectful and transparent. It gives me a great sense of pride! Through social media, we are now able to interact with the population and we value this close contact. Cascades is an organization that encourages creativity and initiative, which allows us to develop in a very stimulating work environment."

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  1. Brett Kendall at 3:09 pm

    I think it’s interesting that biodegradable, oxodegradable and compostable plastic bags are not suitable for recycling. Given that landfills are anaerobic environments that don’t support decomposition, it would seem that they’re not suitable for that either. So.. what’s the intended end-of-life for these products? Composted at home or thrown on the the ground as litter?

    • Anne-Marie Gingras
      Anne-Marie Gingras Author at 7:48 pm

      Hello Brett,
      It’s better to use compostable bags for compost, and biodegradable, oxo-degradable or conventional plastic bags for household waste. The best option, however, is to reduce!