Many people would be shocked to learn that sometimes their entire load of curbside recycling is thrown straight into a landfill.
While recycling programs vary in different areas, most curbside programs follow a similar system; the recycling is picked up and taken to a sorting facility where materials are separated, then those materials are sold to various companies that make products out of recycled materials.
When people place non-recyclable items into their recycling bins, it keeps this system from being as efficient as it can be. Non-recyclable items can contaminate other recyclables, slow down the process and even damage machines. In order to keep the system running efficiently, sorting facilities may deem entire bins of recycling as trash if there are non-recyclables in with them.
This means that all of the plastic, glass and paper you assumed was going to be used to make recycled products is really just sitting in a landfill, releasing toxic chemicals into the ecosystem and finding its way into the digestive systems of birds and other wildlife.
In order to make it easier to avoid this, we’ve put together a list of 11 items you should never recycle.