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Don't Crush Cans Before Recycling Them

Published on 07/18/19 / In News & Politics

Well, it’s often the right instinct, as it conserves space and is more efficient for pick-up by recyclers. Plastic bottles, for instance, are generally best crushed (and left with caps on) when thrown in the recycling bin. Aluminum cans, however, are a rare exception, as Popular Science noted last week. According to Matt Meenan, the senior director of public affairs at the Aluminum Association, when crushed cans enter the recycling stream, they become more difficult to sort out and can contaminate other recyclable materials. All U.S. recycling programs operate on one of two methods: single-stream recycling (the kind where you throw all your recyclables in a single bin at the curb) versus multi- or dual-stream recycling (where you separate them into different bins at the curb).

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