Recycling is about more than just cringey environmental campaigns and that one annoying coworker who's obsessed with separating the whites from the colors in the garbage bin, or however they do it.

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Recycling actually has multiple benefits, aside from making the Earth a fraction happier.

In Texas, the TFC (Texas Facilities Commission) stated that the more items that are properly recycled means less cost of waste collection for landfills, A.K.A., more money in our pockets by the end of the year.

The TFC also noted that within the past four years, the program has saved roughly 24,000 yards of landfill, 170,000 trees, 660,000 gallons of oil and enough electricity to power about 730 homes for 6 months.

What can and can't I recycle?

Great question there, friend. Well, in Texas, acceptable items to toss in those fancy green or blue bins include the following:

  • Junk mail, letters, pamphlets, etc.
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Receipts
  • Plastic bottles*
  • Aluminum cans
  • (Staples and paperclips don't have to be removed from paper before recycling)

*Number 3 plastic is NOT accepted. Please check your plastic bottle before recycling. If you see a '3' with arrows surrounding it, go ahead and toss that in regular trash or just avoid this type of plastic altogether.

Unacceptable items for recycling in Texas:

  • Paper towel and tissue
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam
  • Paper plates/cups/food wrappers
  • Food waste*

*I recommend a compost pile for your garden as a way to dispose of discarded leftover food.

So, there you have it. The next time you stand over the garbage with a paper plate in one hand and an empty soda can in the other, you will now know where each can find a home... or perhaps a grave.

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