Recycle This! Not That!

posted 8/23/2017

Many items are recyclable through our curbside recycling program, but not everything can be tossed in your cart. In fact, when non-recyclable items wind up in recycling carts, machines are damaged and the value of recyclables is reduced. Ultimately, contamination jeopardizes the entire recycling program.

Recycle THIS!
Knowing what to recycle is easy when you follow our local recycling guidelines listed on your cart. Basic material, like cardboard boxes, cans and bottles, glass jars and paper are accepted. It’s that easy!

Not THAT!
Not-so-basic items, which are often made of multiple materials, include electronics, toys and food pouches are not accepted in your cart.

Why are some items are accepted, while others are not? Keep reading to learn more.

Today, there are more products and packaging materials than ever before. For example, baby food used to only come in glass jars. Now you can find baby food packaged in a wide variety of materials like foil lined pouches and plastic cups. Unfortunately, this new packaging is multi-layered with foil, several kinds of plastic laminated together and then topped with various plastic zippers and caps. The complex make-up of the product is problematic because the materials cannot easily be broken down into their purest form.


Paper is always accepted in the Curb It! recycling cart, whether it is in junk mail or paper plane form. However, plastic toys, like airplanes, are not able to be recycled. Children’s toys are composed of multiple materials, usually, many different types of plastic which all have a unique chemical make-up. Learn more about the type of plastic that is recyclable in your cart here.

 

Aluminum cans and glass bottles are a recycling staple, whether it be through a can/bottle redemption center, or in your Curb It! cart. On the contrary, plastic and paper cups used at parties, festivals and cookouts cannot be recycled in your cart. The composition of these plastics is not in demand by those purchasing recycled plastic.

Paperboard boxes, like the ones frozen pizzas come in, can be recycled if they are not contaminated with food waste. However, when cardboard or paperboard come in contact with food, the oils often breakdown the material. If oils or grease are on the paperboard or cardboard, it is considered contaminated and cannot be recycled. Find more details about the problems with recycling take-out pizza boxes here.

It is important to keep non-recyclables out of your Curb It! cart to prevent contamination. Keeping garbage out of your recycling cart ensures a successful, sustainable program.