My wife and I are pretty diligent when it comes to recycling. We recycle paper, cans, plastics and bottles regularly, and place them at the curb every week according the rules of our community.

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Are we perfect when it comes to recycling? Well, pretty close. But there are those who don't even come close as I observe when driving through communities around garbage and recycle day. It's amazing what some people think will be accepted as recyclable products.

Now that it's the time of year for spring cleaning, you may have stuff that needs to be thrown out that you plan to recycle. I certainly do. Some of it will be things that can be recycled and some not.

With that being said, there are certain things you might not be aware of that can't be recycled. Especially when you open those closets and begin to toss out stuff you no longer need or want.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, one of the things you can't recycle are textiles. By that, the NYS DEC means blankets, sheets and clothing for example. Now, the NYS DEC says these items can be recycled, but they need their own special recycling programs.

You may ask why these items can't be mixed in with your recyclable paper products, cans, bottles and plastics. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has your answer:

When your clothing and other textiles are put in your regular household recycling bin, these items can get wrapped around recycling facility equipment, causing expensive machinery jams and compromising worker safety. - NYSDEC

And the fact that our recycling centers are not equipped to accept any types of textiles. Suggestion? Well, are those old clothes still good? Donate them to one of many local places that accept used but good and clean clothing.

Pet shelters may be able to take your blankets if they are clean and still in good shape. Sheets can be used for a variety of things, like using them to cover your furniture and floors if you plan on dong any painting around the house for example.

For more information about recycling in general,, along with composting visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

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