26 Mar '12, 10am

Ask Umbra: Are coffee cups recyclable?

Ask Umbra: Are coffee cups recyclable?

I’m lost in a recycling conundrum. Our waste hauler tells us they can recycle milk and juice cartons, but not coffee cups. But according to my research, cartons have up to three layers (paper, aluminum, polyethylene), while coffee cups are typically made of paper and polyethylene. How could a recycling facility separate and recycle three layers, but not two? Kathy C. Philadelphia, Pa. Photo by Chandru Ramkumar. A. Dearest Kathy, I got lost in a recycling conundrum once. It took several days to make my way out, and only then because I made a handheld GPS unit out of an old newspaper, tin foil, and a paperclip. But I digress. Your question is sensible: If coffee cups and juice cartons (about which we just learned a gallon of facts , including which types contain aluminum) are both paper coated with polyethylene, why can’t both go in your bin? Only your waste hauler knows for...

Full article: http://grist.org/living/ask-umbra-are-coffee-cups-recycla...

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