By now, it seems that most people have gotten the memo that recycling is a small, seemingly simple waste-reducing favor we can do for our Earth. Unfortunately, there are misunderstandings and difficulties abound in the world of recycling. The best of intentions can be futile if you don’t adhere to under-publicized requirements of recycling. We compiled some helpful information for you to reference to help you recycle as effectively as possible!

Each city handles recycling a little bit differently, so it’s important to make sure that you review what the City of Madison specifically requires. They have specific guidelines, including information about what can be recycled and what needs to thrown away, how to prepare items to be recycled, what to do with irregular items, and schedules for recycling pick-up. Common errors have also been compiled into a handy reference page. You might realize you have been making an error that only requires a simple fix!

A quick google search revealed this list of other common mistakes people make when recycling — there is definitely no shortage of these lists, so you can do some exploring and find out how you can improve your recycling practices!

Interested in taking your waste-reduction efforts a step further? Look into composting! Unfortunately, there is currently no city-wide composting initiative, but check out this website with information about how to compost in your home.

While recycling is not quite as beneficial for the Earth as reducing your use of plastic/single-use material or reusing/repurposing items, but it is so much better than stuffing our landfills. Inappropriately recycled items end up in the landfill — if you go through the effort of recycling in it, you might as well make sure you do it appropriately!