Recycling is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce waste, but it’s vital to know which materials can be recycled. To avoid non-recyclable or compostable materials from delaying the recycling process, become familiar with which items should be composted, recycled, or trashed.


As environmental efforts become more of a public concern worldwide, more industries and individuals are becoming aware of composting. As a relatively new effort, not all consumers understand what composting is. Composting is the process of reusing biodegradable and organic waste that can be broken down by natural processes. These broken down substances can be reused for soil or fertilizer to yield crops. Compostable items include vegetable and fruit refuse, compostable paper, coffee filters, tea bags, and grains. In fact, any food item aside from cooked meat and dairy is compostable. Unprocessed wood, cotton balls, and non-synthetic fur and feathers can also be composted.


Recycling is the best line of defense humans have against overfilled landfills and pollution. Recycling certain materials is highly cost-effective and can even create more industry jobs. Some areas will recycle more materials than others, but in general, the following materials can be recycled:

  • Papers
  • Aluminum
  • Metals/Metal Cans
  • Glass Bottles and Jars

Some recycling plants can even recycle certain electronic devices. Also, certain materials must be treated before they can be recycled, such as cardboard boxes, which should be flattened and bundled before being dropped off with the right recycling services. Be sure to check! Some items that seem to be recyclable, such as paper or plastic cutlery, can actually be composted if they are properly marked.


So what should be thrown in a curbside trash container? Anything that isn’t compostable or recycled! Unfortunately, this refuse will find its way to a landfill, but ensuring that the proper materials are composted or recycled can greatly reduce environmental damage. Furthermore, discarding items in the trash is significantly better than littering or polluting. Trash is a necessary product, but it helps to ensure all compostable or recyclable items are picked out before.

Sorting through refuse is a fast and easy way to help the environment when paired with the right waste management service. To get started, contact E.L. Harvey & Sons online to request our services or give us a call at 508-836-3000! Founded in 1911 and recycling since the 1940s, we’re committed to helping residents and business owners around Westborough reduce their environmental footprint.