We at Recycle Utah often get questions about the small stuff. The caps? Lids? Corks? Small bath products? First, keep in mind that products need to be pure. If it’s a mixed material, it’s often not recyclable. Additionally, all materials need to be 90% clean of any residue – food, grease, etc.
Lids can stay on plastic bottles and be recycled through curbside service or Recycle Utah. Though, there’s a good chance the lid will pop off when bailed and may be swept aside into the landfill pile at the Salt Lake City recycling facility. Recycle Utah has designated containers for small plastics, corks and more to assure recyclability of small items.
Metals are important to always recycle as they consistently have market value – and recycling metals is less energy intensive than converting the raw material of ore into a new metal. Try compacting foil pieces, yogurt covers and more into a tennis ball-sized mass or save them in a sealed metal can. Metal products are often mixed with plastic – consider that the item needs to be at least 70% metal to be recyclable.
Now the bathroom, an open door to creative alternatives! First, how can you reduce? If your product is disposable, is there a sustainable and non-plastic replacement such as washable wipes, glass or metal containers, toothpaste tabs or bulk buys? And did you know that Recycle Utah accepts toothbrushes and toothpaste containers, a program with Colgate and Terracycle?
By Mary Closser