5 Halloween recycling horrors you should avoid

5 Halloween recycling horrors you should avoid

Republic Services publishes a list of Halloween items that shouldn’t be recycled.

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October 31, 2018
Edited by Kelly Maile
Municipal / IC&I

Halloween can be a scary time in recycling facilities. Many of the items handed out to trick-or-treaters or used for decoration aren’t recyclable, yet they still end up in the recycling container.

In the spirit of the holiday, Republic Services published a list of Halloween items that shouldn’t be recycled:

  1. Candy wrappers: Candy wrappers may feel like plastic, but they’re considered a mixed material and therefore aren’t recyclable. If you have the misfortune of getting a box of raisins in your trick-or-treating loot, you can toss the box in your recycling container. Another tip: Never try to recycle anything smaller than a credit card.
    1. Pumpkins: They’re not recyclable, but they don’t necessarily have to go in the trash. Whether whole or carved, pumpkins can be disposed of in the yard waste bin. Pumpkins also may be composted. 
    2. Costumes: Fabric costumes and latex masks can be reused, but not recycled. You can always save the costume and repurpose it for next year or find a clothing donation site near you.  
    3. Makeup: Tins and tubes of face paint and fake blood aren’t recyclable. Even if the container is made from plastic or metal, it most likely is contaminated by residue.
    4. Spooky lighting: Strings of lights will haunt your local recycling facility by getting tangled in the sorting equipment, so don’t place these items in your recycling bin. However, there are mail-in recycling programs available.

    More than 30 percent of what goes into residential recycling containers today shouldn’t be there, according to Republic Services.

    By following a few simple guidelines, we all can be better recyclers. The company also offers these tips: know what to throw; make sure items are empty, clean and dry; and keep recyclables loose – never in bags or containers.

    For more simple recycling tips and resources from Republic Services, visit recyclingsimplified.com.

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