Posted on April 22, 2024

wishful recycling no items

Did you know that every day, people put items in their recycling cart wishfully hoping that the items can be recycled?

When it comes to recycling, we wish all items were created equally, but sadly, that’s just not true. While many items are recyclable through the Curb It! program, not everything can be tossed in your cart.

In fact, when wishful recyclers toss those non-recyclable items in their recycling carts, the value of all recycling goes down. That’s why we’re here to give you a little refresher on some of those common “oops!” items that get a thumbs down from your Curb It! cart:

  • Coffee Cups: Although paper coffee cups seem like they'd be accepted in your recycling cart, they belong in the garbage. These paper cups are coated on the inside with a material called polythene to keep the contents warm. Even though polythene looks a lot like the wax coating on your traditional milk carton, it binds more tightly to the cup, making it very difficult to recycle!
  • Bagged Recyclables: Plastic bags of any kind are not recyclable in your Curb It! cart. When recycling facility employees spot a plastic bag – even if it’s full of recyclables – it is pulled from the line and sent on to the landfill. The reason? Our recycling equipment sorts items by type, and they must go through the process loose for the equipment and staff to recognize each item. Plastic bags can also be tanglers in the equipment – like bubblegum in somebody’s hair!
  • Packaging Material: While we all know cardboard boxes are recyclable, Styrofoam and bubble wrap used to keep your products in place are not accepted in your recycling cart.
  • Clothing: Whether you're looking to clear some space in your closet or get rid of a few clothing items or pairs of shoes that don't fit anymore, those textiles are not accepted in your Curb It! cart. However, donating your items is another great form of recycling!

What's Accepted?

You’ve heard us say it before, but when it comes to recycling, we want you to stick with the basics. This includes: 

  • Plastics with twist-off lids 
  • Juice cartons 
  • Junk mail 
  • Newspaper 
  • Cardboard 
  • Aluminum & tin cans 

It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re deciding what types of things belong in your Curb It! cart. A good rule of thumb, when in doubt – throw it out.  

By ensuring you put the right things go into your Curb It! cart and keep the wrong things out, you’re helping keep our recycling program successful!

If you are wondering if an item is recyclable, check out our Recycling Guide or give us a call at 515.244.0021.