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 garbage and other non-recyclable items are put in recycling carts, they damage machines and prevent good recyclables from getting sorted. They also de-value material and ultimately jeopardize the entire recycling program.

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

Items composed of multiple types of materials like electronics, toys and food pouches are not accepted in your cart.

Read on to learn more about why you can recycle THIS, not THAT.

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 staple of recycling, whether it be in a can and bottle return or in your Curb It! cart. On the contrary, plastic and paper cups that are used at parties, festivals and cookouts cannot be recycled in your cart. Not only are some made from layered materials (think plastic coated paper coffee cups), but the varied chemical make-up of the plastic makes processing the materials nearly impossible. Make sure to keep these cups out of your Curb It! cart.

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 containers have directly touched food, the oils from the food have usually leaked into the material. If oils 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.