Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.
KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

So You Think You Can Recycle? Take This KUOW Quiz

Does this orange peel belong in the trash, recycling or compost?
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery
Does this orange peel belong in the trash, recycling or compost?

It probably comes as little surprise that Seattle gets an A for recycling.

Seventy percent of all our trash ends up in compost or recycling; just 30 percent goes to the landfill.

But recycling often causes confusion, and sometimes strife in our homes. Do the Post-It Notes go in recycling or the trash? (Answer: recycling.) Should we take the cap off water bottles before recycling the bottles? And what about fruit with stickers on them? 

Tim Croll, solid waste director at Seattle Public Utilities, tells us to relax. In fact, he wasn't entirely sure where to put wax paper. (We were fascinated to learn it goes in the compost. Same with waxed cardboard.)

“It’s not do or die,” Croll said. “People should not despair that, ‘Gee, it’s impossible to score 100 percent, so the whole thing’s just an empty exercise.’ That’s not the case. The overall programs are very successful.”

Listen to these super short clips of Croll answering questions about particular bits of trash and then take our quiz. Good luck!

Can you recycle newspaper with tape or glue?

Can you recycle bottle caps?

[asset-audio[{"description": "", "fid": "119112", "uri": "public://201507/recycling_-_caps.mp3"}]]What do those numbers on plastic containers and bags mean?

[asset-audio[{"description": "", "fid": "119113", "uri": "public://201507/recycling_-_numbers.mp3"}]]

Powered by Interact

Correction 7/19/2015: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Post-It notes should go in the trash. In fact, sticky notes can be recycled. 

Year started with KUOW: 2003