23% of what we recycle is wrong; here’s how to do better

The 4 biggest mistakes sending your recycling to a landfill

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Northeast Florida residents mistakenly put 1,500 tons of trash in their recycling bins every month. For perspective, that amounts to the weight of 33 passenger planes.

That’s a lot of garbage, which ends up costing all of us money since the city of Jacksonville has to pay to remove some of it from the recycling plant where it’s hauled.

While you may have good intentions when you throw something into your recycling bin at home, you may not realize you are making mistakes about what is recyclable and what is trash.

Jason Graves, Division Manager with Republic Services -- which sorts and processes household recycling material from Duval, St. Johns, Nassau and Clay counties, the beaches and Brunswick homes -- explains the most common mistakes:


Cardboard is recyclable, but not if boxes are still filled with the stuffing that came with your recent online delivery.

Boxes filled with "popcorn", the small styrofoam pieces that protect fragile contents, and plastic wrap are not recyclable. (WJXT)

Graves showed us the problem, spotting a box on the sorting line at the recycling plant that was packed with paper.

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