It’s no word of a lie that recycling benefits the environment.

If you think about it, most of what we throw away has some recyclable material. If we stopped recycling, the impact would be tremendous.

Without recycling, 200 million metric tons of greenhouse gases would pollute our environment each year. We wouldn’t notice it at first.

Sometimes, there’s confusion as to what should be recycled versus what should be thrown in the trash.

Let’s take a look at some common items that are put in the recycling when they should be thrown away.


Many companies and restaurants have stopped selling straws, due to their harmful effects on the environment. Straws are not considered recyclable or compostable.

Coffee Cups

A lot of people wonder where that coffee cup should go after you’ve enjoyed your morning cup of coffee or tea.

In the City of Barrie and the County of Simcoe, the cups go in the green bin, whereas the lids can be recycled.

Styrofoam coffee cups, on the other hand, go in the garbage.

Motor Oil Or Pesticide Containers

With the warmer weather finally making its way to Simcoe County, many have resurrected their gardens. If you’re using pesticides on your garden or changing the oil in your car, make sure you don’t throw out the old containers. Containers that contain oil or flammable materials pose certain problems during the recycling process, such as creating a flash point and can change the chemical composition of plastics. These types of containers can go in the trash.

Broken Glass or Dishware

Various glass items can be recycled, such as glass beverage bottles and jars. Broken glass, on the other hand, cannot be recycled. You may be wondering why; if it’s glass, why does it matter if it’s broken or not?

The concern arises with broken glass because not all glass is created equal. Different products, like light bulbs, vases and drinking glasses are created with different types of glass. When glass gets broken, it all mixes together, which poses a problem during processing and recycling.

Full Containers

Let’s say you get a new bottle of shampoo, so you go to throw out the half-used older one.

“It’s a plastic bottle,” you think, so you throw it in the recycling bin.

If the bottle was empty, this move would have been perfectly acceptable.

Full containers, on the other hand, pose a problem during recycling. When the containers get crushed, anything inside will leak onto the other materials, making a mess and could be harmful to the environment, depending on what’s inside.

Georgian Waste is a family-owned and operated waste management company, serving Simcoe County and surrounding areas. If you have any questions, send us a message online or give us a call at (705) 424-0082.