Top 5 Most Important Materials to Recycle

Top 5 Most Important Materials to Recycle

Do you want your projects to have minimal impact on the environment? Whether you’re concerned about leaving trash behind in neighborhoods or contributing to climate change, simply disposing of your waste isn’t always enough. Sorting and recycling certain materials is an important way to reduce landfill waste, keep your worksites safe and compliant, and perhaps most importantly, save energy. But in order to separate your trash and recyclables, you need to know which materials are recyclable – and which save the most energy.

Some materials are especially energy-intensive, which means it takes a lot of power to produce them from scratch. Others are common reasons for pollution, deforestation, and other environmental nightmares. As you prioritize recycling on your job sites, remember these top five recyclables, which are some of the most important items to recycle:

1. Aluminum

This common metal, used to make cans, foil and tins, is 100 percent recyclable. It’s also much easier to reprocess aluminum scraps than to create new cans, and the process can be done repeatedly. Before you toss any aluminum into the trash, remember: producing new aluminum cans requires 95 percent more energy than recycling and reprocessing them.

2. Paper

Paper products are easy to recycle but much harder to make.  80 percent of them end up in landfills. In fact, a third of all municipal waste is made up of paper, which produces methane as it decomposes and requires cutting down trees to replace. Instead of contributing to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, make sure newspaper and other paper products are recycled.  The paper products should be clean (including no food contamination).


Aluminum: This common metal, used to make cans, foil and tins, is 100 percent recyclable. It’s also much easier to reprocess aluminum scraps than to create new cans, and the process can be done repeatedly

3. Steel

Recycled more than any other material in the country, steel can be reprocessed over and over again, and this process saves enough energy to power 18 million homes every year. Always recycle your steel waste, including scraps from construction materials, cars, appliances, and tools.

4. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Plastic

The most commonly recycled plastic on the planet, PET makes up most of the two-liters (and one-liters) in your soda aisle. It’s sturdier and denser than other recyclable plastics, so it also makes up many bottles of bleach, detergent, and other cleaning products. Check the logo on your plastic containers to see if and how you can recycle your PET plastic waste.

5. Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard makes up another big chunk of the country’s commercial waste streams. Break down and recycle your cardboard boxes instead of throwing them away, and do your part to prevent any other corrugated cardboard from reaching the landfill too.

Save energy and keep your work sites compliant by ensuring your recyclable waste gets to the right place. We remove and recycle a wide variety of commercial and residential waste, and our dumpster rentals make it easy to keep your materials sorted. Call 619-284-9245 to get a free estimate today.

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