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How to compact your recyclables

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For those of us that are avid recyclers, we know that finding ways to compact materials while keeping within the standards of recycling companies can be a hassle. Some organizations wish for soda cans to be uncrushed, while others don’t care either way, and a few companies want cardboard boxes compacted, while others can deal with it either way. Even though all of these rules can be confusing and overwhelming, there are a few ways to appeal to all.

For most, cardboard boxes take up the most space in recycling bins. They’re also quite annoying to pull apart and flatten. They can even cause painful cuts on our fingers! But now there’s no more need to worry about that, because there’s a great solution for getting the boxes flattened without having to tear up your precious skin.

In order to meet the standards of recycling companies such as RecycleBank, you are advised to compact cardboard boxes so their machines can more easily process the material. Now, instead of pulling open the super-glued flaps, why not put the empty boxes on the bottom of the recycle bin and pile everything else on top of it? Here’s how you do it: drop the cardboard on the bottom of the bin then dump several layers of paper or other materials that can become heavy on top of it. If all works well, the velocity of the materials being deposited in the bin along with the combined weight of the recyclables should compress the cardboard until it is decently flat. Not only will this allow you to add weight to the bin for when it is picked up, but the cardboard on the bottom can act as sort of a containment of the paper that can fly away when being dumped in the truck!

Another hassling recyclable is aluminum. Aluminum can be soda cans, cans of tuna, and so forth. If you drink a lot of canned beverages, the piles can really add up. Also, instead of crushing the cans in half like we normally have a tendency to do, RecycleBank requests that the material remains in a decently pristine shape as if it came right off the shelf. This is so the recyclables don’t get stuck in their machines, which is quite understandable.

Therefore, as an alternative, you can take your aluminum elsewhere. Recycling facilities, such as Colorado Industrial Recycling, take anything and everything, no matter the condition. You can even transport a refrigerator and they’ll know what to do with all of its components. With this in mind, you can pack up the aluminum cans (crushed or not) and take them to this location and trade them in for cash. The employees will weigh the contents and give you an appropriate amount of money as compensation. To get the maximum benefit of the trip, it is advised that you flatten the aluminum cans as much as possible and pack them into bags. This will allow you to make fewer trips.

All in all, try to come up with innovative ways to compact your recyclables so you can save time and money while still being green.

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