Recycling: Most of us have been doing it for as long as we can remember. Although it may seem simple to determine what does or does not belong in a recycling bin, unfortunately, it’s not that straight forward.

To help you from making these recycling mistakes, we’ve outlined some of the most commonly mistaken items that can’t actually be recycled.

#1: Shredded Paper – Because of the difficulties it creates during the sorting process, most recycling plants will not accept it.

#2: Plastic Bags – These have the tendency to get caught in the recycling machinery and potentially damage the equipment.

#3: Styrofoam – You should limit your use of Styrofoam products as this material is neither biodegradable or recyclable.

#4: Pizza Boxes/Take Out Food Containers – While the containers your food comes in may be recyclable, any grease or food particles that may be present can potentially damage or contaminate the other materials that are to be recycled.

Placing the wrong materials into the recycling bin may ruin the entire batch and slow down the recycling process, so it’s critical that we take precautionary actions to ensure we are recycling properly. You can reference the Earth911 Recycling Directory to find out what your community can accept, or where to recycle these materials.