What Types of Waste Can Be Recycled?

Recycling programs are becoming more common in communities across the country. By collecting and recycling various types of materials, communities are helping the environment and saving money in the process.


Paper and cardboard are two of the most popular materials to recycle; however, these items can pose a hazard to people and the environment. Recycling these products reduces the amount of packaging material that ends up in landfills, which helps the environment in several ways.

For one thing, when paper packaging is recycled, it replaces a substantial portion of the packaging that ends up in the environment. By reducing the amount of packaging waste, the environment is made a little bit better off. However, in most cases, the packaging does not end up in the environment because recycling companies do not take the old paper packaging, but rather they separate it into “newer” or recyclable cardboard.

Recycling can help reduce the amount of trash our society produces by about 50%. In addition, recycling eliminates a lot of the costs of maintaining and transporting these products from the business owners’ landfills.

Plastic packaging often poses a danger to the environment as well. When plastic packages are processed for recycling, the plastic often becomes an odor-causing agent. It is this odor that creates the problem and makes it impossible for some businesses to participate in the recycling program. For example, newspaper packaging can become unusable because of its odor when it is reprocessed for recycling.

Paper packaging is also subject to rotting when reprocessed for recycling. This poses a danger to workers who are required to keep the packaging sterile while it is being recycled.

Because paper packaging has a negative impact on the environment, businesses find that it creates a significant amount of environmental damage as well. When paper packaging is reprocessed for recycling, many companies try to make sure that as much of the paper packaging as possible is removed. Some waste management facilities have strict limits on how much of the paper packaging can be removed before the system requires more paper products to be added to the collection at a later date.

Paper packaging has also been found to contain chemicals that cause people to develop cancers and other illnesses. When the paper material is reprocessed for recycling, it becomes contaminated with chemicals that make people very sick. Many of these same chemicals can be found in the same place if the chemicals are not removed.

Plastic, along with other types of paper packaging, has also been found to contain asbestos. Asbestos fibers can lodge in the plastic materials and become contaminated. By recycling, many companies are able to find ways to remove the asbestos from the materials so that they do not continue to create a danger to people who work around the area.

A company that has a solid waste management facility will often send recyclable materials to another facility. Some recyclable materials cannot be sent to a solid waste management facility; it must be transported to a landfill. However, many companies use the facilities to transport their recyclable materials.

Companies can take advantage of sending their recyclable materials directly to the company that handles solid waste management and have them taken to a recycling site. Companies can save on costs by using a transportation service to take them to their destination instead of having to transport them themselves.

At the waste management facility, the waste is sorted and segregated into different types of materials. The types of recyclable materials that can be sent to a solid waste management facility include: paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, asbestos, plastics, batteries, corrugated cardboard, and food waste.