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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs a Bar Harbor renter, you may be thinking about ways to help you live more sustainably. For most individuals, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these items can be recycled. Just because a certain thing is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not automatically mean it can be recycled. And placing non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is a big waste of time for you as well as the processing center. Here are some suggestions that may help you recycle the right way.


To find out which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, experts suggest going by container shape. As a general rule, plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just make sure to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

However, the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is a bit long, so it may come as a surprise to you. To cite a few examples, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable, but plastic food containers and water bottles usually are. Other materials that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

Moreover, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other styles of plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. The reason would be that these materials clog up the machines, and they usually end up in the landfill. So alternatively, these items are typically recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag can be a problem at the processing center.


Recycling glass is a bit more complicated than most think. This is mainly due to the fact that processing centers don’t take in certain types of glass. In certain places, the centers will not allow any glass at all. While others will only allow a certain kind of glass. Make sure to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the trash.

However, there are certain kinds of glass that are just not recyclable at all. These include windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other methods.


The same as glass, not all processing centers let in metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you do have metal items and you are keen to recycle them, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. Many regular processing centers will not take in metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

In the same way, old televisions and electronics could not be easily sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these materials can become a bit more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to search for a certain local electronics shop that will accept your old electronics. A few companies will allow old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not anymore wanted.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Many kinds of cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers permit newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are also usually all right, but it depends on what items your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to note that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (a few streaks of oil is okay), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and certain types of paper are also not recyclable, so it’s essential to separate your paper items carefully before placing them in the trash bin.


By recycling correctly, you can help your community as a renter. However, if there is no way that your neighborhood will support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Acadia can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 207-561-7482.

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