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As the world moves towards a more renewable model, it can be surprising to learn that some everyday materials are still not recyclable. With that in mind, let’s review five surprising items that you can’t recycle.

Pizza Boxes

“Come on, really?” By far, pizza boxes not being recyclable takes people most by surprise. Consider the fact that a pizza box is a lot of cardboard, and cardboard is recyclable, why is it not the case? Surprisingly enough, there is nothing wrong with the pizza box itself. The problem comes from what we put inside. Pizzas are incredibly greasy and often have fragments of food in them. This makes recycling them impossible as things that absorb food like that cannot be recycled. Before tossing the box in the trash, look to see if it has some kind of lining below the pizza. If there is no damage to the box, then you can still recycle it.


After so many years of being targeted by environmental groups and recycling companies alike as a terrible material, you would have thought that Styrofoam would finally have its chemical consistency changed so that it is recyclable. The truth is however that Styrofoam is still not recyclable and still a menace to the environment. Just because it breaks apart easily does not mean it will disassemble harmlessly into the environment.

Wire Hangers

Many recycling companies are not equipped to handle metal wires. As wire hangers are nothing more then spun metal, recycling companies require special technology in order to properly recycle it. If you cannot recycle wire hangers directly, then consider a metal shop that may take it for melting down.

Wet Paper

Why would wet paper not be recyclable? Well, many companies that recycle paper do so because the fibers in the paper are still intact and can be molded again into new paper. The trouble is that in wet paper the fibres break down. As a result, they are no longer useful to recycling companies.

Coffee Pods

Coffee pods are not recyclable because of their unique formulation of layered plastic, which is designed to prolong the shelf life of the coffee. The four layers need to be separated in order to be recycled, but this process is far too intricate and time-consuming for most municipal recycling facilities to handle. The fact that they contained used coffee grounds (a food product) also makes them unrecyclable unless the grounds are removed.

Where Does That Leave Us?

If you come across something that cannot be recycled by normal means, then consider hiring a professional junk removal company in Ottawa like Capital Junk. We have the know-how to recycle or donate any objects that we can, and safely dispose of remaining objects in an environmentally conscious way. Just give us a call and we’ll take care of it.