Are you wasting too much in the kitchen? Before you throw away your old pots and pans, find out if they can be recycled. It's essential to know what materials can be recycled and how to properly dispose of them. With the right information, you can make sure your kitchen utensils are recycled responsibly. Most curbside recycling programs don't accept scrap metal, so recycling kitchen utensils will require a bit more effort.
Check with your municipal department's public works to find out what can be recycled. You may also find scrap metal facilities that accept kitchen utensils, or companies like Terracycle that have programs to properly dispose of and recycle them. When plastic utensils end up in the recycling plant, they tend to fall or get stuck in machinery that sorts objects into groups of the same material. Most machines can't handle items smaller than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and the utensils are so thin that they fall through the equipment.
In addition, many composting facilities do not accept compostable utensils because many are made of bioplastic. Of all the types of compostable utensils, plastic and reusable compostables are advertised as the most environmentally friendly. To make things even easier, Earth911 recently partnered with ceramic cookware brand Caraway on the brand's Re-Store Your Kitchen recycling initiative. But how do you know when to replace your cookware? And what do you do with those pieces when they retire? Here are some telltale signs that indicate when it's time to say goodbye to kitchen pots and pans:
- The cookware is warped or cracked.
- The non-stick coating is scratched or peeling.
- The handles are loose or broken.
Reusable utensils are still a favorite because they are easily recycled and are not single-use. With a little effort, you can make sure your kitchen utensils are recycled responsibly. Check with your local recycling program and scrap metal facilities to find out what materials they accept. You may also find companies like Terracycle that have programs to properly dispose of and recycle old kitchen utensils. And don't forget about reusable and compostable utensils as an eco-friendly option.