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Posted on May 27, 2020

While many items are recyclable through the Curb It! program, not everything can be tossed in your cart. In fact, when some of those non-recyclable items wind up in recycling carts,  the value of all  recycling goes down.  

Many residents are familiar with the recycling guidelines, but we wanted to give you a little refresher on some of those common “oops!” items that get a thumbs down from your Curb It! cart!  

Pizza Boxes: 

The cheese and grease stain the cardboard which puts it in the contamination category. If you want to be a superstar recycler, you could rip off the top part, that isn’t stained with grease, and recycle that. 

Coffee Cups:  

Although the paper coffee cups seem like they'd fall into this category, they belong in the garbage. The paper cups are coated on the inside of the cup 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 curbside 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? Bags get wrapped in the equipment at the recycling facility, cause damage, and keep materials from getting properly sorted. Basically, bagged recyclables at the sorting facility are as good as trash. 

Packaging Material:  

While we all know cardboard boxes are recyclable, the styrofoam and bubble wrap used to keep your products in place do NOT belong in your recycling cart. 

Still have questions about what's recyclable? Don’t hesitate to reach out! Shoot us a message on Facebook, respond to this email, or give us a call at 515.244.0021 and we can talk you through it. For more information, check out our recycling guide https://www.mwatoday.com/residents/recycling/accepted-not-accepted.aspx.