Recent years have seen an increased focus on “going green” within American communities. One of the easiest ways for consumers to join the green movement is to take advantage of the recycling centers that exist in their area. Many municipal governments provide recycling bins for residents to use, but these bins are only effective if residents understand the types of items that can be recycled in them.

Here are three items that you should be tossing in your recycle bin each week.

1. Tin Products

Many consumers are not aware of the fact that the canned foods they purchase at the grocery store come in cans made from tin. Steel and tin, the primary materials used to construct the #5 cans your foods come in, are among the easiest materials to recycle. In fact, tin and steel have a recycling rate of about 95%.

By choosing to place your steel and tin cans in your recycling bin, you can help to prevent steel shortages and contribute to a healthier environment.

2. Plastic Water Bottles

Americans consume a lot of bottled water; about 1,500 plastic water bottles per second to be exact. While it might seem intuitive to think that these plastic water bottles can be placed in your recycling bin, studies show that of the 50 million plastic water bottles purchased by American consumers today, 80% end up landfills.

Making the conscious choice to place your plastic water bottles in the recycling bin is an excellent way to ensure that you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint in the future.

3. Paper Products

The average American produces about 4.6 pounds of waste per day. This number has increased from the meager 1.6 pounds per day produced in 1960, largely because of our growing reliance on packaged foods.

Many of the packaging materials your foods come in can be recycled in the bin provided by your municipal government. Paper products like boxes, bags, and instruction sheets can be used by recycling centers to help create new items. Choosing to recycle your paper goods is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment.

Becoming familiar with the items that are allowed in your recycling bin is essential if you want to get involved in recycling. If your municipal government does not provide a recycling bin, you can take your items directly to the recycling service center, or contact a government official to request a recycling bin in the future.