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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs a Kailua renter, you may be contemplating ways to help you live more sustainably. For most, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these items can be recycled. Just because a certain thing is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not automatically mean it can be recycled. And putting non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is kind of a gigantic waste of time for you as well as the processing center. Here’s some advice that may help you recycle the right way.


To know which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, the professionals suggest going by container shape. A usual rule would be that plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just be keen to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

But I’ll tell you that the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is kind of long, so it may come as a surprise to you. To cite an example, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable, while plastic food containers and water bottles usually are. Other materials that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

Moreover, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other kinds of the plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. The reason would be that these materials clog up the machines, and they usually end up in the landfill. So alternatively, these items are typically recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag may cause issues at the processing center.


Recycling glass can become a bit more complicated than many would assume, mainly because processing centers don’t allow certain types of glass. In certain places, the centers don’t allow any glass at all. While others will only permit a certain kind of glass. Make certain to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the trash.

However, there are specific classes of glass that are just not recyclable at all. Some examples would be windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other means.


The same as glass, not all processing centers accept metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items and would want to recycle them, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. The majority of regular processing centers will not take in metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

In the same way, old televisions and electronics cannot be plainly sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these things can be more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to look for certain kinds of local electronics shops that will allow your old electronics. A few companies will allow old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not anymore wanted.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Particular kinds of cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers will allow newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are typically fine, but it depends on what materials your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to remember that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (some oil is okay), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and some types of paper are also not recyclable, so you’d need to separate your paper items carefully prior to placing them in the trash bin.


By recycling the correct way, you can do a lot to help your community as a renter. However, if there is no way that your neighborhood will support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Alliance can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 808-427-0611.

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