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Order a package online? Here’s what you should and shouldn’t recycle

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Dec. 14, 2019 at 9:57 a.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — ‘Tis the season for online ordering. In fact, Americans spent a record $9.4 billion in sales alone during Cyber Monday earlier this month.

That means many types of packages are likely headed to your home. If that's the case, here’s a look at what you should and shouldn’t recycle.

Using a list of different packaging materials that Amazon uses and Waste Management Utah and Rocky Mountain Recycling’s recycling suggestions, here's a general look at what you can or can't recycle from the packages you order:

Generally recyclable items

  • Cardboard boxes and folders are among the most standard recyclable items. They should be clean, but are recyclable in Utah, according to both Waste Management and Rocky Mountain Recycling.
  • Paper padded mailers are similar to cardboard boxes and other paper products, which means they are recyclable.
  • Brown packing paper is traditionally recyclable, as are paper bags that are clean from any sort of contaminants.
  • Plastic bottles and containers are recyclable if rinsed out and cleaned, and also fall between plastics 1-7, both recycling agencies state.

Items that are either not recyclable or generally not accepted

  • Bubble-lined paper mailers aren’t recyclable, Amazon states. Neither are gel packs, dry ice plastic film bags, foil insulation bags and dry ice pouches.
  • Regular plastic bag packages and bubble-lined plastic bags are made from plastic film and are only recyclable if a location accepts that material. Both Waste Management and Rocky Mountain Recycling state those aren’t accepted at their plants.
  • Unlike the brown packing paper, shredded paper, foam and packing peanuts aren’t recyclable items. Air pillows are another filler item that’s generally not recyclable, both recycling programs state.

As always, check with your recycling provider if you're unsure which packaging items can and can't be recycled.

Carter Williams

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