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Where do you throw out coffee cups?

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Do used coffee cups belong in the garbage or recycling bin? A lot of people wonder about this, including grown-ups. And unfortunately, it is quite common for people to dump their coffee cups in the wrong places.  

The answer to this question may depend on where you live, as each area has different rules for waste. Here in Toronto, we can use the city’s Waste Wizard website to tell us what goes into which bin - blue, green or garbage.  

Most disposable coffee cups are made out of paper, so many people think they can be recycled. Unfortunately, disposable paper cups are lined with a small layer of plastic to prevent them from leaking. This plastic lining makes them very difficult to recycle. For that reason, coffee cups must be placed in the garbage. The plastic lids, however, can usually be recycled, as can the cardboard sleeves that come with some cups. Some restaurants serve coffee in Styrofoam cups. The good news is that these types of cups are recyclable. However, the most environmental option is reusable cups, which more and more stores are allowing people to bring from home.

So the next time someone in your family throws their empty Tim Horton’s cup in the blue bin, you can tell them the proper way to dispose of it!

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