What kids really want to know about recycling

We’ve collected puzzling recycling questions from children around the country. The answers could help your family understand the process better.

Can you recycle a tissue? A rubber band? Tinfoil? When we asked kids for their questions about recycling, they did not disappoint. After all, just because children are excited to help the environment doesn’t mean they’re experts in the recycling process, too.

“Many kids are eager to help with recycling,” says Chrystelle Panatier, a fifth-grade teacher in Silver Spring, Maryland. “But they don’t always know the right place to put things, or where the recyclables go next. They see the truck coming to pick it up, but I don’t think they understand what happens from there.”

So we went straight to the source to find out what kids wanted to know and become better environmental stewards. (In case you’re wondering: Tissues go in the trash; rubber bands generally aren’t recyclable but they are reusable; and clean tinfoil can go right into your curbside bin—aluminum is infinitely recyclable.)

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