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This morning I saw a blog post by a friend about a recycling campaign in Cambridge, MA. It reminded me of our push, about a year ago, for more recycling by residents in my building. I learned a lot about recycling in Chicago from that push. Did you know Waste Management uses single stream recycling, making it unnecessary for customers to sort their recyclables?

While researching our campaign we created the following list of items that can and cannot be recycled by Waste Management, the company that collects for our building. Double check with your recycling company to learn if they use singe stream recycling and what items they will collect.

Graphic of items that can be recycledGlass
NOTE: Must be cleaned out
Must be in shape of a bottle

Cardboard Boxes (broken down)
White and Colored Paper
Newspapers and their inserts
Envelopes (windows OK)
Coated Paper (shiny)
Carbonless receipts
Manuals with glue binding
File Folders

File Folder Tabs
Plastic Spirals
Plastic Types #1 & #2 NOTE: Look for these symbols
Recycle Symbol with 1 in the center   Recycle Symbol with 2 in the center

NOTE: Must be cleaned out
Aluminum Cans
Tin Cans
Wire Spirals
Paper Clips
File Folder Hangers

Please remember to clean out all containers. Organic materials cannot be recycled, therefore items such as used napkins, tissues, and pizza boxes must be thrown in the trash. Plastic bags are not included in Waste Management’s program, however most grocery stores do have a place where those can be returned for recycling. Also Best Buy and Goodwill accept electronics recycling.

If you don’t yet have a recycling program in your household I hope this gives you enough information to start one. All it takes is a paper bag for collection and an adjusted habit.

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