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How to recycle

The following discussion provides a general overview on the proper methods to employ for recycling plastic bottles.

1. Determine local requirements: First and foremost, consult with your local recycling jurisdiction to see if there are any special requirements as to what materials are accepted, how they must be sorted and cleaned, and what bins must be used for depositing them for pick-up. Some areas may not accept all seven classes of resins. Look at the bottom of the plastic bottle to verify that it is a recyclable item. You should see a recycling symbol consisting of three arrows that form the three sides of a triangle.

2. Remove the cap: A plastic bottle is designed to withstand a lot of pressure when the cap is on. After all, the cap must keep the contents fresh and sealed from the outside air or contamination. When the seal is broken, of course outside air can leak into the bottle. However, a relatively tight seal is still maintained. If a bottle with a cap on it is recycled, more effort will be required to crush it and break it down. In addition, the cap is often made from a plastic resin that is different from the resin of the bottle. Thus, the cap becomes a source of contamination for the plastic resin that is being recycled. The best thing to do with the cap is to remove it and throw it out with the garbage.

3. Rinse and flatten: Although the recycling facility cleans the bottles by machine, the process is much easier if you quickly rinse your bottles before you place them in your recycling bin. This doesn't mean you must thoroughly wash the bottle since that requires time, energy, and quantities of water as well. You should first hold the bottle upside down over the sink to drain out any remaining liquids, assuming the bottle held soda or other water soluble, harmless, non-polluting substance. Fill the bottle approximately halfway with cold water. Swoosh the water around a while, even shake the bottle if you put the cap on.

Then drain out the water, and throw away the cap. Don't try to wash out the bottle with liquid detergent. It will take many rinsings to remove all of the soap, if you are even able to do it. Also don't forget to flatten the plastic bottles by stepping on them. You will be able to fit more bottles in your bin, and the recycling truck will be able to carry more bottles, too.

4. Recycle: This is the easy part! Just toss the bottles in your curbside recycling bin. Use the EarthOdyssey™ pulling tool to pull the down to the edge of your property for roadside pickup. The EarthOdyssey™ pulling tool will make it very easy to accomplish a task that otherwise requires a fair amount of physical effort.

5. What about plastic motor oil bottles? Do not try to rinse out any residual oil in the bottle. The best approach is to drain any remaining oil. Using one bottle to collect drippings, insert a funnel into that bottle and upend the other bottles one at a time and let each drain into the funnel overnight. Make sure the inverted bottle is securely in position so it won't fall over. Draining the bottle in this manner is merely a matter of time and is all that can reasonably be expected. Most important, confirm with your local recycling authority that the bottles will be accepted for recycling after a thorough draining. Otherwise inquire as to how the bottles should be disposed.

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The Story behind the EarthOdyssey pulling tool: Learn how the EarthOdyssey™ pulling tool was invented, what it's used for, and why it can be helpful to you in your daily life. Then on the same page view more images of the EarthOdyssey™ pulling tool.

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