Education, Sustainability

Is it recyclable, compostable or trash?

We break it down.

words by: Natasha Marsh
May 4, 2021

As an environmentally conscious consumer, I am always looking for more ways to conserve resources and new practices to preserve the planet and nature. Learning how to properly compost, recycle and dispose of items can be tricky. There is so much information out there and to make life easier for you, we investigated for you. Below is a quick and easy guide.


Things that can be recycled

When it comes to recycling your garbage, things can get confusing. It’s easy to want to recycle all plastic, but did you know that if you had food in a plastic container and it still has residue, this has now become trash instead of recycle? Basically, you can recycle glass, paper, metal and plastics. Something is considered recyclable if it can break down into another useable product. Typically, companies will place a recycling logo on it, indicating that the item is recyclable. Things are biodegradable if it can break down and decompose in a year or less. Great examples are newspapers, paper plates, notebooks and paper towels.

Things that are compostable

Similar to recycling, in that it is reusable, compostable materials can break down to nutrient-rich soil. The planet thrives off compost because it’s good for the soil and doesn’t produce toxic residue. The quick list here includes anything made from a plant or part of a plant: fruit peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable scraps, etc.

Things that are trash

Essentially, if the item is not compostable, biodegradable or recyclable, then it’s most likely trash. And considering recycling facilities are only able to handle specific material, when in doubt, throw it in the trash versus the other category bins. Best not to overcrowd the already crowded landfills with stuff that they don’t need.


Knowing how to dispose of your garbage is a great way to preserve resources, prolong materials and be kinder to the planet. Now that you know what category your item falls into, learn more about how to be more sustainable during a global pandemic.