You have probably heard it a million times already - reduce, reuse, recycle. Or collect, recycle, reuse. Yes, it's important. Why, you might ask? Because it saves resources. It saves trees, metals, oxygen, water, animals. Millions of tonnes of various materials go to waste every year. At this rate, there might be a resource shortage in a generation or two. And, I don't know about you, but I want my children to have a planet to live on, so I recycle. For a brighter future of sorts. Of course it's time consuming, after all everything good takes an effort to achieve, but there are good news, too - we, as a race, are starting to realise how important recycling is and governments are working on making recycling easier.
With the introduction out of the way, we can proceed towards the core of the problem - the knowledge what and how to recycle. Might as well start with...
If you are thinking of recycling porcelain or ceramic plates, bowls, cups etc. it's probably not going to happen. Those materials are among the few which are not being processed by most recycling programs. The best way to get rid of your old dining sets would be to donate them. Friends in need, charity programs, second-hand stores - those are perfectly viable ways to reuse. It's a bit easier with metal equivalents. If your local recycling program accepts scrap metal, then you are in for a treat. Otherwise, they are to be sent to a nearby rubbish tip. Teflon-lined pans and skillets are most often not accepted at the recycling stations. And a word of advice if you are getting rid of old knives - please make sure you leave some kind of note, or simply write on the container, signifying that there are sharp items inside. Nobody has to get hurt!
Plastic containers are usually fairly easy to recycle. Since the "Resin Identification Code" system, available for you to see right here in the step 6 picture, it has become easier to identify what types of plastic your local recycling centres accept. Just look at the bottom/back of the container and note what the number inside the triangle is. Voila, you have your type.