Everyday items that homeowners can throw in their recycling bins

With the growing prevalence of single-stream recycling programs in cities and towns across the country, many consumers are taking a good hard look at their household waste and seeing what can end up in their blue bins. According to The Miami Herald, there are countless items that fall through the cracks and end up in local landfills, but by keeping a few of them in mind, you can be well on your way to creating a greener household.

Plastic bags have become a major recycling problem for many communities, but oftentimes it's the receipts found in those bags that end up in the trash. Paper receipts can go directly into your recycling bin, but those that are printed on thermal paper are a different story. These typically come from cash registers and credit card receipts and are printed with a special chemical that could taint the recycling process. For these items, a good course of action is to shred them and use them as packing material.

Small items such as used makeup containers, old gift cards and cancelled credit cards, and used writing implements are all viable options for your recycling bin. You can do the same with old house keys and even your old wallets and purses. Many of these products can be reused and made into new items, so be sure to check your local recycling program's website to see what they will accept.

With the expansion of public recycling programs, there are few items that don't belong in the blue bin. By taking the extra step to see what can be donated, recycling or reused for another purpose, you can live a far more sustainable lifestyle.