AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most of us have good intentions when it comes to recycling, but are we doing it correctly?

Incorrectly recycled items can not only contaminate properly recycled items, but they can also damage the recycle sorting machinery. Most people can correctly identify common recyclables like soda cans, newspaper and plastic bottles, but some might find it confusing as to whether the carboard pizza box, the glass jar or paper plate can be recycled.

Meteorologist Kristen Currie spoke with A.C., the Senior Public Information Specialist with Austin Resource Recovery to find out what items are being thrown in the blue bin that shouldn’t actually be there.

You can watch the interview above or read a transcript of the conversation below. Some parts have been edited for clarity.

Kristen Currie, KXAN News: What are the three items that a lot of people recycle that can’t actually be recycled?

A.C., Austin Resource Recovery: Single use plastic bags, like grocery bags, Ziploc bags to name a few. Plastic wrap and Stretchy Wrap like saran wrap or shrink wrap. You should definitely keep those out of the blue recycling cart. These materials can jam up machinery gears to the recycling facility and shut down the whole process until they’re untangled. You can take these items back to the retail stores where you got them or to our recycle and reuse drop off center to be responsibly disposed of.

Number two, a big safety hazard, batteries and electronics. Batteries can actually catch fire or explode in your bin or in the back of the trash and recycling trucks. Texas law actually requires all television and computer manufacturers to offer recycling opportunities for these electronics.

Lastly, organic items, like food and yard trimmings. Specifically, soiled paper products like paper towels, napkins, used paper plates, things like that are not recyclable in your blue carts. These items can be composted by placing them in your green compost cart.

Kristen Currie, KXAN News: A.C. with Austin Resource Recovery. Thank you so much for sharing that information with us.

For more information on appropriate items to recycle, visit the Austin Resource Recovery website.