More and more people today are recycling. In fact, about three-quarters of people in the U.S. recycle but most don’t know how to properly recycle.

Here are some great tips on how to be a smart recycler:

1. Remove the twist-off cap and ring from plastic bottles. The twist of off cap and ring are not recyclable. Bottles that arrive at recycling centers with the caps still on often are trashed.

2. Remove all food residues. Food waste adds impurities to products made from recycled materials, rendering them useless. So instead either clean out that pizza box or tear off the lid and any part of the box that’s clean, and recycle those. This also goes for paper towels and paper plates.

3. Rinse and repeat. Rinse out jars, bottles and other containers to remove food residue. It is also easier for the recycling center if you peel off any labels, along with as much of the sticky residue as you can.

4. Not all plastic is recyclable. There are many different types of plastics, look for the number inside the recycling symbol; the three arrows that form a triangle.


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Cookout season is among us and many cookouts feature burgers. Making the perfect burger is easier than you think. No need to run out to the local burger joint or let your guests down at your next cookout.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve perfection when it comes to the quintessential backyard barbecue food:

Use 85 percent lean or less ground chuck

Heat your grill to medium-high.

Gently work the meat and divide it into balls. If you overwork the meat or it will become dry and tough.

Try to flatten the balls so that the thickness is the same throughout the patties. A ¾-inch-thick patty is perfect.

To prevent over plump burgers in the middle make a shallow well in the top of each patty.

Season the patties with salt and pepper.

Use a paper towel dipped in canola oil and a pair of thongs to oil the grill grate.

First cook the patty with the well facing up. Cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium.

Flip the patty and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Do not press or flatten the patty.

Use a thermometer to confirm when done. The thermometer should read 155° F for medium.

If you are making yummy cheeseburgers, add your cheese 2 minutes before the burger is done and cook with the grill covered.

Gather your favorite condiments and enjoy!

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