If you work from home, you might be wondering about how to be environmentally-friendly while you’re telecommuting. Increased awareness about recycling has been one of the unintentional but beneficial effects of many of us now working from home. Nationwide lockdowns have caused many Canadians to adjust to life at home. Due to the pandemic, the infrastructure of your office recycling program is absent and you’re now on your own to continue the initiative to protect the environment.

There’s so much to consider now. The thought of maintaining your recycling routine at home may have taken a backseat in the last few years as you’ve had to deal with more pressing responsibilities. But there’s hope! We’ve made a list of some items in your home that may not be recycled correctly. This information will help to make your life a little easier and greener!

Take Away Containers

You’ve been working from home for a while now and the last thing you want to think about is food preparation and cooking. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got deadlines to meet for work. Supporting small businesses that are struggling is good but let’s not forget to recycle all the containers, bags, and boxes your food arrives in.

Throw it away if there is any grease or liquids on it. If it’s in stiff black plastic containers, or the plastic is flimsy and easy to crush, toss it. If your food arrives in clamshell plastic containers, clean and recycle them! Sorry but aluminium foil isn’t recyclable and neither are grease-stained pizza boxes.

Paper Sources and Shredded Paper

There’s paper all over the house! You’ve been working on reports and documents and printing them off every day. Your children are drawing and colouring on any paper they can get, and more bundles arrive weekly. All of this paper is recyclable, right?

Wrong! One of the most common mistakes people make about recycling is concerning paper products. Throw it away if it’s been coated or laminated, contains foil, glitter, or is shredded or dirty.

Most other paper can be recycled but be aware of any paper that’s been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. If you suspect it has, it should be classified as medical waste and should be thrown away.

Ordering Online

You’ve probably been getting lots of things delivered to your home. This increases the amount of boxes and packing supplies piling up around the house. If you have bubble wrap or styrofoam, there are community groups which may accept these donations for reuse. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to toss everything into the recycling bin. It’s best to break down cardboard boxes and separate the different packing items as trash or cardboard recycling. Air pillows may say which type of plastic they are and whether they can be recycled with plastic bags.

Masks and Latex Gloves

Protective gear has become commonplace for most of us. It may seem like a waste to have to throw away items like gloves, masks, and any other forms of protection. But these types of items can’t be recycled. All PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is classified as medical waste. To reduce your level of refuse, invest in washable gloves and masks.

    Paper Towels

    Trying to decrease your carbon footprint while managing a house full of pets and kids can be a daunting exercise! All of the things you have to clean up can become overwhelming. The paper towel roll is spinning non-stop in your kitchen!

    All of that dirty paper ends up in your recycling bin, but if it’s not clean your local plant here in Scarborough will not be able to recycle it properly. Any used tissues, paper towels or toilet paper should be thrown away or flushed! Your recycled items have to be clean so they can be reused and converted into new products. Paper and toilet paper cardboard dowels however can be recycled with your paper.

      Cleaning Your Items

      Working from home seems like a great idea, but it depends on how you balance workload and your household responsibilities. It can be exhausting! You don’t want to add to the stress of the workforce at your local recycling plant by discarding dirty materials for recycling. Remove any residue from your items by cleaning and rinsing them before placing them in the recycling bin. To make the chore easier, consider placing a load of recyclables into your dishwasher and cleaning them all once a week.

      Home Office Tech

      Paper and containers are made from organic materials like wood. The parts of your electronics are mined in the ground. Those elements come from a finite source and once they’re depleted, they’re gone forever. By recycling them it reduces our need to mine them and gives us time to find more sustainable solutions.

        Gather your outdated or unwanted electronics and put them in a box. When the box is full, bring them to us at Manville Recycling. If you’re unsure whether an item is recyclable or has any value, put it in the box anyway. Our experts will know what to do. You can even call us ahead of time at 416-751-4732 or go to our website and tell us what you’ve got. Our professionals will be happy to tell you how to get them recycled responsibly.

        We’ve all been through some challenging times in the last two years. But maintaining your mission to go green and recycle at home is paramount to all of us. Remember, waste and recycling aren’t going away anytime soon!