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What Materials Can Be Recycled?

Over the years, a large percentage of people around the world have started to recycle, turning out their recyclable trash week by week to the nearest recycling center. This fact is greatly applauded and should be encouraged; especially since a large number of people still find recycling to be quite a daunting and complex concept to participate in. Moreover, when coupled with the various criteria each city and state run their recycling centers by, the complexity of recycling is seemingly increased. In these situations, you find that the majority of citizens are not aware of which materials are recyclable or not. Learning about these aspects goes a long way in participating in recycling practices, hence, highlighted below are the most common recyclable materials.

Materials That Can Be Recycled

  • Plastic

To start the list, plastics are one of the most common recyclable materials, yet, often the most confusing material to recycle. The reason for this confusion is that not all plastic is recyclable, and for any plastic to be recycled, it is largely based on the type of plastic resin used in making the plastic item. This is why in developed countries, at the bottom of each plastic bottle or container, there are often numbers placed. These numbers indicate if the bottle is recyclable or not. The most common digits to see and examples of the recyclable types of plastic are often #1 (PET: Clear plastic like water and soda bottles) and #2 (HDPE: these are the more opaque plastic like milk jugs).

  • Metal

The next recyclable material is metal, which can be divided into two major categories for recycling. These categories are steel and aluminum, in which, both are recyclable, lids and all. For examples of recyclable steel, you have soup and fruit cans, while aluminum consists of soda cans. They can be recycled together, but it is advisable to separate them before recycling and a sure way to tell them apart is their magnetic capabilities. Steel is magnetic, while aluminum is not.

  • Paper

Another extremely common recyclable material, and one of the easiest to recycle, is paper. From newspapers to magazines and books, almost all form of paper is recyclable, even gift wrapping paper, as long as it isn’t coated in plastic. A form of paper that isn’t always recyclable is cartons, which are made from cardboard that has thin layers of plastic within them. Part of this recycling process is the use of baling wire. Check out to understand better.

  • Glass

A highly recyclable material is glass. Most household glassware can be recycled multiple times. Like paper, glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle; however, not all glass can be recycled. For example, heat-resistant glass like tempered glass isn’t recyclable.

  • Electronics

Daily, more than a thousand computers are thrown away and carelessly discarded worldwide; yet, nearly all parts of a computer can be recycled, especially when they comprise of plastic, glass and metal. There are also phones which are tossed aside with the release of a new version, making up a significant portion of electronic landfills worldwide. Phones comprise of a lot of recyclable materials such as plastic, copper and metals highly valued by the manufacturers. 

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