Your recyclables may not be going where you'd hope.

For those working hard on living in an environmentally responsible manner, this news comes as a wake up call. First reported by WMUR News 9, the United States recently lost a partner in China, which took in more recyclable material than anyone. Officials say China used to take it all of it, no matter how contaminated. But now, they will only accept recycling with a 2 or 3 percent contamination rate.

What happens to the rest? Officials say items are sorted on a conveyor belt, and workers select what items or commodities can be recycled. Then, a magnet takes the aluminum cans and spits them into a bin. Gravity allows the trash to fall into a separate bin that's headed for the landfill.  Tony Belanger of Pinard Waste Systems told WMUR there isn't a big difference between what goes into the trash and what gets recycled. "At this point, it's a very small difference, because very little of what's going into that recycle barrel has a buyer."

Duncan Watson, Keene assistant public works director told WMUR items such as pizza boxes aren't going to recycling anymore, simply because they can't be recycled. Also, there are major misconceptions surrounding what really happens once you put out your recycling bins. "A lot of people imagine that there is some magical process that happens, where a peanut butter jar that is thrown out is somehow magically cleaned from the curb to when it gets to us at the recycling center."



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