What Are Nonrecyclable Items?


Quick Answer

Nonrecyclable items cannot be treated or processed to make them suitable for further use. Some items cannot be recycled because they are considered hazardous waste. For other items, such as diapers, it is more expensive to process the items for reuse than to discard them and manufacture new ones.

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Full Answer

The list of nonrecyclable items includes: aerosol cans, because they are considered hazardous materials; batteries; diapers, as it is not commercially possible to recover the paper and plastic; hazardous waste, such as household chemicals; and medical waste, which includes syringes and scalpels. It is impractical to recycle shattered household glass, window panes and mirrors. Some light bulbs contain mercury; therefore, it is advisable to ask an expert on how to dispose of them properly.

There are items that cannot be recycled but can still be reused or made useful. Broken ceramics and pottery cannot be recycled but can be used in the garden. Juice boxes, pizza boxes and other cardboard items can be used to make crafts. Plastics and Styrofoam are damaging to the environment if disposed of improperly, but creative minds can make stunning artworks and functional inventions out of them. Bottles and jars can be recycled or cleaned and used as containers.

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