Read up on this MinnPost article describing best practices for recycling in Minnesota! The recycling system relies on us, consumers, to make our best effort to properly recycle.
Some Key Takeaways:
WISHCYCLING - tossing something into the recycling bin that actually isn’t recyclable (but we wish it was) - is one of the most important practices to AVOID. By eliminating non-recyclable materials from recycling facilities, it will make the jobs of those sorting our waste much easier, as well as prevent potential damage to machinery.
Food, beverage, laundry and bathroom containers are recyclable in general, except those labeled #6, or that are black in color. Black plastics are too hard for machines to sort, so recyclers are no longer accepting them.
Papers and cardboards are generally recyclable if they haven’t touched food.
Food containers, like those for yogurt, peanut butter or spaghetti sauce should be pretty well cleaned out, but it doesn’t have to be perfect - 95 percent is good! This is mostly because humans have to do some of the sorting and that food gets gross.
It’s actually better if your recycling is loose, not in grocery bags. That’s because recycling trucks compact the contents of your bin, and they can be hard for machines – or even people — to pull back apart if they’ve been squished together inside paper bags.