Top 10 Most Important Items To Recycle

Here's a list of items in your home and business that should be recycled.

Top 10 items to recycle. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Top 10 items to recycle. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Are you recycling everything you can? 

This list from the National Recycling Coalition, posted on Care2, outlines 10 of the most important items to recycle and why:

1. Aluminum 

Why? Because aluminum cans are 100 percent recyclable and can also be recycled over and over again and turning recycled cans into new cans takes 95 percent less energy than making brand-new ones.

2. PET Plastic Bottles

Why? Because making plastic out of recycled resources uses about two-thirds less energy than making new plastic. And because plastic bottles, more than any other type of plastic, are the most commonly used type, they are usually the easiest to recycle.

3. Newspaper

Why? Because paper makes up about one-third of the all the municipal waste stream in the U.S. 

4. Corrugated Cardboard

Why? Because old corrugated cardboard (OCC) represents a significant percentage of the commercial solid waste stream, coming from the commercial or non-residential sector, the places where we work.

5. Steel cans

Why? Because just like aluminum, steel products can be recycled over again without compromising the quality of the steel.

HDPE plastic bottles

Why? Because these high-density polyethylene containers, a common and more dense plastic used for detergents, bleach, shampoo, milk jugs, can be recycled. Just check the the number inside that logo: numbers 1 and 2 are recyclable almost everywhere.

Glass containers

Why? Because Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy versus virgin glass, and recycling just one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.


Why? Because there are so many reasons to recycle all kinds of paper that it makes no sense not to like recycled paper saves 60 percent of energy versus virgin paper.

Mixed paper

Why? Because recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.


Why? Because giving old, working computers to friends and family members or donating them to nonprofit organizations not only keeps the computer entirely out of the waste stream, but it presents computer access to someone who might not otherwise be able to afford it.


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