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The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling: How to do it properly

Everyone knows recycling materials is good for the planet and reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It's also good for business as companies that use those recycled materials grow and produce like new products used solely from these materials.

15 percent of Michiganders recycle, but that's the lowest percentage in the Great Lakes region and among the lowest int he nation. Not to mention not all those who recycle do it properly.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has kicked off a campaign called "Know It Before You Throw It" to better inform Michiganders what can – and cannot – be recycled, as well as to increase the amount of material recycled statewide.

Scott Dean of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Kyle Shoemaker of the Kent County Department of Public Works demonstrate on how to properly recycle.

Basic soup cans or tuna cans can be recycled, just remember to rinse and empty before putting into the recycling bin. The lids can also be recycled, but it’s best to pin them in the container to limit the possibility of it being lost in the bin.

Another notable fact about these metal containers is that the paper wrapping does not need to be removed.

Wire hangers are not recyclable curbside as they have a tendency to jam machinery and pose a threat to recycling workers’ safety. Do not place these in curbside containers.

Michigan has a 10-cent deposit on pop cans, but not everyone can have this ability. Aluminum is very recyclable. In fact, 75% of all aluminum produced is still in use today.

Empty aerosol cans are generally recyclable curbside, as long as they didn’t contain something hazardous such as paint or chemicals. Cans empty of the product and the plastic components are taken off, so it’s ready to go in the curbside bin.

Learn more about the new EGLE campaign and get more tips and information on recycling, visit recyclingraccoons.org.

Learn more about how to recycle in Kent County visit reimaginetrash.org.

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