Do you recycle? Even if you consider yourself to be an expert in all things eco-friendly, you may be forgetting to recycle certain items. Which ones? Here are some of the most common items that people forget to recycle:

Bathroom Products

In 2015, Keep America Beautiful conducted a survey and found that nearly half of respondents do not recycle products in the bathroom simply because there’s no recycling bin nearby. As a result, many of the items that people forget to recycle are found in the bathroom. Some of the top bathroom products that are thrown in the trash instead of the recycling bin include toothpaste tubes, shaving cream cans, toilet paper rolls, and shampoo bottles. If you are guilty of tossing these items in the trash, consider putting a small recycling bin in your bathroom so you no longer have an excuse to forget about these recyclables.


Do you crumple up receipts and leave them at the bottom of your handbag or stuffed in the back of your junk drawer? Instead of letting these receipts pile up, sort through them and recycle the ones that are recyclable. If the receipt is shiny and smooth, it means it is coated with a toxic chemical and cannot be recycled. However, if the receipt is on plain paper and has a matte finish, it can be recycled. The next time you clean out your car or junk drawer, don’t just throw a handful of receipts in the trash. Instead, take the time to dispose of these receipts properly.

In the future, you can ask stores to email you a receipt instead of printing one out on paper. This will save you the trouble of having to sort through a massive pile of receipts later on—and it will help the retailer conserve paper, too!

Ink Cartridges

You can’t just toss an empty ink cartridge in the recycling bin, which may be why many people don’t end up recycling these items. Check with office supply stores in your neighborhood to see if they have an ink cartridge recycling program. Some will even reward you for bringing in your old cartridges! For example, you can get $2 back for each cartridge that you recycle at Staples as long as you don’t go over the 10 cartridges per month limit. Many other retailers have followed in Staples’ footsteps and established their own recycling programs, so do a little research to determine where you can turn in your ink cartridges.


Believe it or not, some people still forget to recycle paper. In fact, it is estimated that only half of paper in the U.S. is recycled, which means we still have a long way to go to ensue that everyone is recycling paper. Many people are already in the habit of recycling paper at home, but they may forget to do so at the office. To avoid this problem, talk to your managers about putting recycling bins around the office so people are reminded to recycle paper instead of tossing it in the garbage.

How many of these items do you forget to recycle? The next time you sort through your waste, think back to this list to remind yourself of what items you should be recycling.