Recycling conundrum

Some candy wrappers and gum wrappers have paper on one side and thin aluminum foil on the other.

Which recycling bin do they go in? Paper or metal/plastic/glass?

Neither? My guess is that those wrappers are not recyclable, so they should just be thrown out in the regular garbage.

My SO gets anal about recyling ever last little piece of everything that is recylable. But we don’t sort it, it all gets thrown in the recyle “garbage” can rather than the garbage garbage can.

My guesstimate is that at some point the small stuff in there cause more harm than good. They have to SORT through all that shit. The small pieces of crap makes the process slower and more expensive and is probably more like to lead to contamination of the recycled materials.

Besides, all that stuff will keep in a landfill and in a few hundred years when we have some high tech way of sorting properly and its worth digging back up we can do it then.

Now that the usual suspects have started to dump on recycling, a factual answer would be:

Not in the paper bin, because it can’t be recycled as paper (only grease-free, unspoiled paper can be pureed into mash for new paper)

not in the aluminium bin, because it’s not easily seperable, although: I would recommend calling your local recycling/ waste company and asking them. If the use heat to melt the aluminium down and therefore know that bound paper will just burn away, this might work.

Alternative B: do you have a separate recycling bin for Tetrapacks? Originally, the layers of cardboard, wax/ plastic and aluminium could not be separated, however in recent years downcycling/ re-use methods have been invented. Here in Germany, were all plastic packaging is collected under the green dot/ yellow bag company license, my city has assured me that collecting tetrapacks in those containers make sense - IIRC, they are ground down and used as filler for something.

If you are into re-use by craft, these chewing gum wrappers are good for crafting because they are easy to glue on the paper side, leaving the shiny side as decoration.

Perhaps in Germany, you have a separate recycling bin for Tetrapaks, but I’ve never seen one in the US. (And, FYI, I wasn’t dumping on recycling.)

Neither was I :rolleyes:

But hey, don’t let logic and practicality and the law of diminishing returns upset a true believer. And if they need CLEAN paper in our recyle bin for it to be useful they are screwed.

I meant to say “little stuff” rather than stuff in my first post.

Yours truely

Usual Suspect.

Well, since we’re already getting into international squabbling … OP: where are you? Recycling varies hugely from country to country and even from community to community.

There is a company called TerraCycle that collects normally non-recyclable things like snack chip bags, drink pouches and gum wrappers and turns them into products. They’ll give you two points or two cents (toward a charity) for every gum wrapper sent in. I’d speculate as to whether the cost of collecting and shipping all of those gum wrappers is economical, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of dumping on recycling.

If a gum wrapper is actually WORTH two cents as a recylable material (even barring collection, shiping and sorting and processing costs)I’ll eat one. IMO there’s gotta be some kind of subsidy or rebate or corporate charity thingy.

Things are worth what someone will pay for them. Wrappers that get “upcycled” into trendy bags that hipsters will pay good money for are a good source of income for charities. Are they intrinsically worth two cents? No. But if they get sent to one central location where they can easily be turned into something with perceived added value, then they are. And some people like the “feelgood factor” of buying upcycled goods and so will pay “over the odds” for them, if they benefit a charity.

I noticed the other day that the pack of baby wipes I bought has an initiative with TerraCycle that pays money to charity for each wrapper sent in for “upcycling”.

It’s easy to be sniffy, thankfully not everyone is such a cynic. I’m quite sure the company (TerraCycle) isn’t doing this at a loss, and makes more than enough to cover its overheads. Those upcycled products aren’t cheap, considering they’re essentially made from garbage.

Yes. The website mentions a partnership with Cadbury (which owns some of the big brands of gum).

There ya go.

I’m not some green tree hugging hippie, don’t get me wrong. I’ll just start throwing them out.