What Do I Throw Away, Recycle, or Compost?

Are you someone who just doesn’t get how to really sort through the materials that you throw out? It can be confusing to know what to throw out in the waste disposal.

For instance, you have to take certain items like computers or other types of hardware to special locations to be handled. Your area may or may not allow for the combining of all recyclables into one bin for sorting and processing and instead only allow for plastics and other types of recycling.


When it comes to the process, we’re here to help. If you’ve got a minute to figure it out, we’ll explain it to you and offer some great tips along the way.


What Do I Throw Away, Recycle, or Compost?

When it comes to sorting through materials, you can relax! It’s not that difficult to understand. Perhaps you’re a young adult on your own that has never dealt with this before, or someone who has new policies in their area where now you have a big mixed bin you can recycle paper and bottles in at the same time, or you’re new to recycling and composting and sorting through what gets thrown out and what doesn’t.

Usually, many food items can be composted rather than thrown out. You can throw compost scraps in a specially designed composting bin outside; however, this requires some effort and may not be practical for apartment dwellers or people staying in homes for the short term.


Plastics and glass materials are usually able to be recycled. You can check on the website of your town or city or from pamphlets at the town hall that will instruct you on what you can and cannot recycle and which bins (if there are more than one) to do that with. Paper may also be able to be recycled and it is usually fairly easy to find out even if you don’t know.

Everything that you have used that you cannot recycle and you cannot compost ultimately will end up in the hands of those who provide garbage disposal.



– When in doubt, go online to your city or town’s homepage or do a localized search online to find out.

– Don’t throw out your receipts. You may need them for something or find that they help you deduct money off of your taxes owed at the end of the year. Particularly if you have a business, but even if you don’t, you should be saving your receipts in general.

– If you don’t want to have small containers holding food scraps in the meantime before putting them in a compost bin, stick them in a large plastic bag and write compost on it with a permanent marker. Just stick it in the freezer and dump it in your compost bin when you feel like it, which will avoid things like fruit flies, but keep it from going into the waste disposal.

– Check for a recyclable mark on items to see if they are recyclable. If you’re not sure, look this up online. Your area may accept things like used laundry detergent bottles or may recommend that they head for the garbage disposal.

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