What can I put in my recycle?

Recycling ideas for children

On the planet, 2.1 billion tons of waste are produced annually; this amount could fill more than 800,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. However, only 16% of that waste is recycled, which equates to about 323 million tons (BBC, 2019).

Did you know? The rest pollutes the environment affecting human and animal health. I’m sure you’re wondering: how can you help combat this complex situation? We tell you that recycling is the best tool you can use.

For example, did you know that recycling is a physical or chemical process? It is used to transform waste into new products or into the raw material needed to manufacture them. Read on and learn more.

Like any process, recycling involves going through some stages. These stages usually vary depending on the type of material being recycled. However, in general terms, there are four stages:

In Colombia it is very important that Manos Verdes join the task of recycling because 78% of Colombian households do not recycle. Nor do they separate their waste properly (Semana Sostenible, 2020).

How to recycle at home

To enjoy the benefits of recycling – energy savings, less exploitation of natural resources, less pollution, etc. – it is important to separate waste correctly. We explain the types of recycling containers and what to put (and what not to put) in each of them.

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Recycling is the process through which waste is converted into new products or material resources with which to manufacture other products. Thus, waste undergoes an eco-environmental transformation process that allows it to be reused in another manufacturing process. Thus, recycling helps to reduce the consumption of raw materials and to eliminate waste. That said, there are different types of recycling containers because separating waste in the recycling process is much more costly.

In order to carry out proper recycling, it is necessary to know what should be deposited in each of the containers. Each color represents a type of material and it is essential not to make a mistake when depositing the waste so that it can be properly processed. Below, we explain the different types of recycling containers and what you should put in each one of them.

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Easy-to-make recycled objects

However, a third of the population still does not know exactly where each type of waste goes. And the yellow garbage can is one of the most common sources of doubt. Here we detail what you can throw in this container to clear yours.

Separating waste correctly in the right container is so important that we want to make sure that no one is left with doubts. It’s everyone’s effort at stake! That’s why here you have different didactic materials that you can download and use with facts and information to recycle more and better.

Types of Recycling

Consider your recycling bin as an inexhaustible source of resources. It probably contains many things that will save you from buying new ones. This way you save twice your economic and material resources, because our planet is finite!

The most obvious are the jars: use them to store your pantry. In the best case, take them to the market and buy them in bulk so that they are never in plastic containers. Plus it’s healthier for you!

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On the left: The bottom section of a tetrapak canister covered with several layers of papier mache newspaper and finally with colored scraps from a magazine. In the foreground: a milk carton.

Even clothing can be remade, although it can have a higher degree of complexity. This bag contains pieces of 3 torn pants and a piece of fabric I found balled up on the street. (The lining is a piece of thrift store curtain left over from a dress I made for my daughter).

Many types of plastic can be reused at home. I collect other people’s plastic bottles (because I try to avoid buying them and using them myself) to decant the leachate from my worm compost (looks like soda? Watch out!).