Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I spent my last weekend, decluttering my living area and have emptied two shelves.  Feel so good about it to see more empty space.  Have packed three bags of items to be given to Salvation Army and a bag to go into the recycle bin.

As we declutter, reduce our possessions and keeping the essentials, there are items that we give away, sell or trash.  For the things that we trash, will be good to separate them by recyclable trash and non-recyclable trash.

Do you know what are the things that we use on a regular basis that can be recycled or cannot be recycled?  Following is an extract from an article by Home & Deco with some added tips by me:


Metal can be recycled repeatedly without losing its original properties. Scraps are melted and rolled into metal sheets to be used for new products. Reusing metal in this way helps to minimise the impact of mining.

What can be recycled: Tin containers for powdered drinks and biscuits, metal cans, aluminium foil, disposable baking trays and empty aerosol cans.

What can’t be recycled: Large electronic equipment and batteries, which need to be recycled in special collection bins.

Tip: Wash all your metal cans for food and drinks and tin containers for powdered drinks and biscuits before dropping them into the recycle bin.


Recycling plants sort the plastic by type, then break them down into small pellets that are used for making new plastic products.

What can be recycled: Bottles and containers that hold food and drinks, personal and cleaning products, clean takeaway containers, clean straws and plastic cutlery.

What can’t be recycled: Styrofoam containers – so say no to them!

Tip: Wash all your plastic containers and bottles before dropping them into the recycle bin.  Bring your own containers and mugs for takeaways to reduce waste.


Recycling only one ton (1,016kg) of paper can help to save 24 trees, 1,439 litres of oil and 7,000 tons of water, yet most people recycle only 38 per cent of the paper they use.

What can be recycled: Newspapers, cardboard food packaging, white office paper, coloured paper, gift wraps, magazines, brochures and envelopes.

What can’t be recycled: Paper contaminated with food.

Tip: For papers that are printed on one side, do reuse the side that is blank to scribble notes before dropping them into the recycle bin.


Glass can be recycled repeatedly. It will be sorted by colour and then melted to produce new glass products.

What can be recycled: Glass food containers and bottles, drinking cups and glasses.

What can’t be recycled: Lightbulbs.

Tip: Wash all your glass containers, bottles, cups and glasses before dropping them into the recycle bin.

As we declutter and reduce our possessions, let’s review how we could reuse what we have or give or sell them to people who would have better use of the items.  For me, I sell my items through Carousell.  For items that cannot be sold, I would give them to Salvation Army.

To make recycling effort less cumbersome, I put aside a paper carrier for the old newspapers, magazines, flyers, envelopes, etc and another plastic bag for plastic and glass containers and bottles and drop them into the recycle bin once a week.

Finally , never throw trash into a recycling bin. It makes it more difficult for the recycling plants to sort through the waste, and food, drinks and other contaminants can ruin an entire batch of recyclables. Make sure to empty and clean your recyclables first.

Let’s play our part to reduce waste as we declutter.

To know more about the recycling process, check out

3 thoughts on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  1. Plastics ranging from number 1-5 can be recycled in Singapore, ie most of the plastic containers we use. Plastic bags are not recyclable, so it’s best to use it to hold trash.
    I use a big envelope to hold the scraps of paper and junk mail. Neater this way when you drop it into the recycling bin.

    Liked by 1 person

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