AUSTIN (KXAN) — It appears people in Austin really want to recycle red solo cups. A recent report by Home Advisor found “can you recycle red solo cups?” was one of the top searches related to recycling in Austin. It was one of the more unusual search terms they found.
The most commonly searched recycling question was about paper. The report found 34% of recycling Google searchers were about the common product. Mallory Micetich, a home expert with Angi, the company behind Home Advisor, said many cities cannot recycle paper, but Austin can.
According to Micetich, their team analyzed over 140,000 Google searches related to recycling.
“[People] asking these questions to Google and other search engines is happening daily,” Micetich said.
Other unusual items people are looking to recycle include knives, yogurt lids and ice cream cartons.
“I saw a city in Arizona that wanted to know specifically [about ice cream cartons].”
Micetich said one of the more common questions this time of year surrounds Christmas lights.
“We’re kind of starting to see that now. As people either replace their old ones or towards the end of the season.”
Christmas lights are, for the most part, difficult to recycle. While they do have elements that are frequently recycled (glass and wire), they can also damage equipment. In Austin, you cannot recycle Christmas lights.
Who’s asking about recycling?
Minneapolis and Atlanta had the most Google searches related to recycling, according to the report. On average, Minneapolis asks 3,280 questions per month about recycling, about 771 questions per 100,000 residents.
Austin comes in at 22nd place for searches involving recycling. Most of the questions were about specific items: red solo cups, aluminum foil, bags, etc.
Micetich said they found a correlation between the availability of recycling and the number of queries related to it. The harder it was to recycle, the more searches related to recycling were found.