If you have old photographs that you’re tossing out, be sure to keep them out of the paper recycling bin. Even though photographs are printed on paper, they are not recyclable. Photographic paper contains a thin layer of polythene, which gives the photo its glossy or matte finish. This polythene is like a plastic coating, which makes the photo durable. And it’s this coating that can contaminate an entire load of paper recyclables. If you must throw out old photographs, toss them into the trash -- or see if there are family members who may want the photos for their own albums.