How to start recycling on “America Recycles Day”

Recycling supports 19,000 jobs in the state.

(WWLP) – Tuesday is America Recycles Day, a day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.

The national recycling rate has increased over the past 30 years and currently sits at 34 percent, according to the initiative’s Keep America Beautiful campaign.

Recycling in Massachusetts not only helps preserve natural resources, saves energy and generates less pollution, it also supports more than 19,000 jobs throughout the state.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection celebrated America Recycles Day Tuesday by announcing the state’s mattress recycling program has recycled 10,000 mattresses since it started earlier this year.

MassDEP says the mattress recycling program saves communities money because when thrown away, mattresses and box springs take up a lot of space in landfills and can get caught in processing equipment. This causes many landfill and waste facilities to charge additional disposal fees.

What can I recycle?

According to Massachusetts Energy and Environmental  Affairs, the following items are recyclable if they are rinsed and cleaned of most residue:

  • Paper – Magazines, newspapers, flyers, phone books, computer paper, catalogs
  • Cardboard – Paperboard boxes, packing materials
  • Aluminum – Cans, foil, tins, trays
  • Steel – Cans, tins, lids, empty aerosol cans
  • Glass – bottles, jars
  • Plastic – Beverage and water bottles, milk and juice jugs, shampoo and soap containers

Many products include recyclable identifiers on their packaging, if you are unsure.

What is not recyclable?

  • Paper towels, tissues
  • Waxed juice cartons, frozen food containers, greasy pizza boxes
  • Pots, pans, utensils, scrap metal, siding
  • Paint cans, pesticide container, scrap metal
  • Ceramics, light bulbs, window glass
  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap, polystyrene foam (styrofoam plates, take-out containers), toys

How do I recycle?

Most cities and towns in Massachusetts provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. Some communities offer curb-side pick up, while others have drop-off locations. Click here to find out your community’s recycling program.

The Massachusetts “Bottle Bill” gives residents a financial incentive by placing a five cent deposit on all soft drink, beer, malt beverage and sparkling water containers sold in the state. These types of containers can be brought to retail outlets that sell the same brands, types and sizes or to redemption centers for money back.