It probably comes as little surprise that Seattle gets an A for recycling.
Seventy percent of all our trash ends up in compost or recycling; just 30 percent goes to the landfill.
But recycling often causes confusion, and sometimes strife in our homes. Do the Post-It Notes go in recycling or the trash? (Answer: recycling.) Should we take the cap off water bottles before recycling the bottles? And what about fruit with stickers on them?
Tim Croll, solid waste director at Seattle Public Utilities, tells us to relax. In fact, he wasn't entirely sure where to put wax paper. (We were fascinated to learn it goes in the compost. Same with waxed cardboard.)
“It’s not do or die,” Croll said. “People should not despair that, ‘Gee, it’s impossible to score 100 percent, so the whole thing’s just an empty exercise.’ That’s not the case. The overall programs are very successful.”
Listen to these super short clips of Croll answering questions about particular bits of trash and then take our quiz. Good luck!
Can you recycle newspaper with tape or glue?
Can you recycle bottle caps?
What do those numbers on plastic containers and bags mean?
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Correction 7/19/2015: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Post-It notes should go in the trash. In fact, sticky notes can be recycled.