Long Island Scrap Metal

Going Green — Recycling Tips


Truly successful recycling involves minimizing waste along the entire life cycle of a product, from acquiring raw materials to manufacturing, using and disposing of a product. Most environmental impacts associated with the products we buy occur before we open the package, so buying products made from recycled materials is just as important as sorting waste into the right bins.

Most types of plastic containers, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and milk cartons can all be recycled. In general, these products to be recycled should be clean, free of contamination and completely empty. One increasing problem is that containers will be put into the recycling bin with liquid still left in them. Do your best to make sure all food or debris has been rinsed off these products before they are recycled.

You can stretch your monthly budget simply by reusing and recycling many items you would normally just throw away.

Here are some tips:

  • Buy rechargeable batteries.
  • Reduce your use of aluminum foil and plastic wraps, or avoid them completely by using plastic containers. You can also reuse those glass jars that you would normally recycle.
    • Tin Cans:
      • Tomato cans graced with old-fashioned labels make charming vases for small flower arrangements.
      • Cover coffee cans with fabric or paper and use as holders for pens, pencils, crayons, kitchen cutlery and so on.
      • Cylindrical potato chip cans make perfect totes for picnics or sent to school with your children so they won’t forget to bring home school notices or their homework.
  • Three-ring binders make handy key holders. Remove the front and back covers and attach the spine to the wall.
  • Make up chores for the kids to recycle cans and make some extra money each week.
  • Instead of throwing away toys, give them to the local church or charity.
  • You can use old egg cartons, cereal boxes, coffee cans, and magazines for craft projects.
  • Use cloth instead of bags, napkins and paper towels.
  • Use canvas grocery bags rather than paper or plastic bags.
  • Good heavy foil can be washed and reused time and time again.
  • Compact discs (CDs), records, and tapes do not always have to be bought. Borrow CDs, records, and tapes from libraries and friends. Loan your own recordings to friends. Donate recordings of children’s music and stories to a school, daycare, or preschool.
  • Donate old cell phones rather than tossing them out. Many people have old cell phones just lying around. Donated phones are refurbished and distributed to programs and agencies such as shelters.