bags of halloween candy

Halloween is less than 24 hours away and our children are going to come home with a lot more candy than you can imagine!  We can use this fun time to teach our children a valuable lesson on recycling.  So, when you decide to dump all the candy on the table to sort, here’s a valuable lesson to share.  

When items are dumped off of the recycling truck they go through a sorting process.  This process is kind of like how you dump your Halloween candy to sort the good from the bad.  Let’s face it…some candy is just better than others.  Let’s look at the “good” recyclable plastic versus the “bad” non-recyclable plastic.

Recyclable Plastic Versus Non-Recyclable Plastic

Everyone has candy on their minds this time of year.  Good luck trying to keep yourself from devouring a few of those tasty treats.  But, just like recycling, they will be sorted between the good and the bad.  You don’t want to be the last one to the plastic pumpkin treat bucket only to be left with the candy no one wanted.  For example, (and yes…we are going to learn about recycling but a small public service announcement on good candy never hurt either), no one likes Necco Wafers.  (They taste like orange chalk and seem to always be in bulk supply in the assorted cheap big bag candy bags).  Don’t be THAT family that gives away those bags please!  I beg you.  However, almost everyone loves a Snickers.  So, let’s break down the recycling process of Halloween candy wrappers by considering the Necco Wafers versus Snickers bars.FOR NO TRICKS – ALL TREATS…HAVE US CLEAN YOUR HOME!

Necco Wafers Versus Snickers

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Plastic cups, bottles and containers are the “Snickers” of the recycle sorting process.  These items are high volume recyclable and the plastic they are made from is like pure chocolate.  It is easier to break this sort of plastic down to reuse it.

Candy wrappers are like the “Necco Wafers” in the recycle sorting world.  They are made from many mixed materials and become too expensive to break the materials down to recycle the good materials out.  Thus, the recycling center won’t accept them.

As you can see…the recycling truck goes through the same process as your plastic treat filled pumpkin.  It is important to sort the materials carefully – from the truck whose load is sorted between that which is recyclable and that which isn’t to the bag of candies that are your favorites to those that you give to your parents to take to the office.

Please Do Your Part

Most people think that all plastic is recyclable.  However, all plastic really isn’t 100% plastic.  Items such as candy wrappers, candy bags, lollipop covers and chocolate wrappers are not.  (And we are about to see a whole lot of all of those!)

Sometimes an uneducated toss of plastic in the recycle bin can cost more than the gesture of trying to save and reuse.  So, I hope this comparison of favorite candy versus the candy left in the bucket until next Halloween gets you thinking about how to better sort your plastics.

We service homes throughout the Austin and Houston areas.  But, for more information on recycling in Austin, please visit the Austin Recycling website by clicking here.  For information regarding Houston recycling, please visit their recycling website by clicking here.  Many cities offer curbside pickup as well. Please visit your city’s website for more information.

Our children have a big job ahead of them of learning how to care for our planet Earth.  So, it’s our job to teach them easy lessons that they can relate to daily and apply to their future.  What better way to teach them than with Halloween candy?  Have a very safe and Happy Halloween and please recycle!