Earlier this week, I spent two minutes staring at our office trash can. In my hand, a manila folder lined with plastic Bubble Wrap sat ready to be discarded. But where? Did the paper envelope mean it qualified as recyclable? Or was the plastic wrap enough to render it trash-bound? This inner monologue went on long enough to become borderline obsessive, and it got me thinking about all the other everyday waste that falls into this gray space between trash and recyclables.
Thinking that I wasn't the only one who had these questions from time to time, I polled the mbg office to get their take. I was met with a resounding wave of "YES! What do you do with (insert misc. item here)!?!" So I reached out to one of mbg's go-to waste experts, Tom Szaky, the founder and CEO of recycling company TerraCycle, to clear up the confusion.
Keep in mind that recycling rules generally vary from state to state and region to region, so take his advice with a grain of salt and visit your municipality's sanitation page to double check. Let's take a look at the recyclability of nearly everything we throw away, focusing on NYC's curbside system as an example.