To raise the rate of what gets recycled at curbside, be careful not to contaminate the recyclables in your collection bin.
Here’s what most recycling companies will take for sure: newspapers, paper, magazines and cardboard; glass bottles and jars; plastic containers, such as from soft drinks, milk, ice-cream, margarine and yogurt; aluminum, such as soft drink cans and foil trays; and steel cans. Rinse all containers or wipe them out doing your best to make sure they are free of food.
What can be recycled or reused and but NOT into your curbside recycling bin: plastic bags; plastic wrap; shredded paper (this can go in your garden organics bin); clothes; electronics – anything that plugs in and uses energy, car parts and appliances, paint. Although these things can be recycled, they must go to a recycling center or collection drive for specific sorting and handling.
Toys, clothing, bedding, furniture and other usable stuff can be donated for another use. Don’t throw that stuff in any bin. Check out the McHenry County Green Guide and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County for more help.