10. Pizza Boxes
Those sturdy cardboard pizza boxes are great for transporting your favorite pie, but when you are finished feasting, don’t toss them into the recycle bin. Pizza boxes absorb flecks of gooey cheese and grease while your pizza is in transit. The food residue and oils from the pizza are definitely not recyclable. When you are finished with your pizza, either compost the box or toss it into your garbage can.
9. Heavily Dyed or Colored Paper
Most paper with printing on it will lose its color during the de-inking process of recycling. However, paper that has been heavily dyed can leach color onto other papers during recycling. This can ruin a batch of paper recycling and risk rejection by paper mills or companies who use recycled paper.
8. Plastic Shopping Bags
Some recycling programs do accept plastic shopping bags in your blue recycling bin. However, many do not. Before tossing plastic grocery bags into your bin, check with your local recycler. If your recycling company does not accept plastic bags, you may still be able to recycle them by searching out a separate recycling site. Some big box department or grocery stores keep large bins at the entrance where you can deposit used plastic bags. Earth 911 maintains a recycling locator that can help you find a drop-off location for recyclable items such as plastic bags.