Recycling Simplified

Recycling: Simple as 1-2-3

Make sure you’re putting the right materials in your recycling container—paper, cardboard, metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs.

01

Know what to throw

Cardboard, paper, metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs

02

Empty. Clean. Dry.™

Keep all recyclables free of food and liquid.

03

Don’t bag it

Never put recylables in container or bags.

Paper & Cardboard

Flattened cardboard, newspapers, magazines, office paper and common mail.

Metal Cans

Beverage and food cans.

Plastic Bottles & Jugs

Food and liquid containers with the lids on.

No Soiled or Wet Materials

Just one dirty bottle or item can contaminate the contents of a whole recycling truck. Once cardboard or paper comes into contact with food or liquid, it can no longer be recycled.

Don’t Bag or Contain

No bags go in the recycling container, and never put recyclables in bags or containers.

No Connected or Mixed Materials

When two or more materials are connected, like paper envelopes with plastic bubble wrap inside, the items can’t be recycled.

Never place these items in your recycling container

No Plastic Bags & Wrappers

Plastic bags, plastic wrappers and flexible plastic packaging are too thin to be recycled. Reuse them in your home or return them to your local grocer for recycling.

No Styrofoam

Styrofoam can be great for reuse but not for recycling. Dispose of these items in your trash.

No Food

Food scraps must be disposed of with your trash, or composted where composting programs are offered.

No Electronics & Batteries

Electronics, batteries and light bulbs cannot go into your recycling container and require special handling. Check local programs for disposal options.

No Yard Waste

Yard waste must be disposed of with your trash or composted where composting programs are offered.

No Diapers

Clean or dirty diapers cannot be recycled. Dispose of them in your trash.

No Soiled Paper

Soiled or wet items are not recyclable and should be disposed of with your trash.

No Clothing & Shoes

Clothing items can be taken to a dedicated reuse collection location but cannot be placed in your recycling container.

No Tools

Tools and other hardware items may find a second life, but not if they’re placed in your recycling container. Dispose of these items in your trash or give them away for reuse.

No Toys

While often made of plastic, toys cannot be placed in your recycling container. Donate these items or dispose of them in your trash.

No Construction Waste

Wood, sheetrock and other home construction items cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in your trash.

No Medical

Needles and other medical items cannot be recycled and may cause serious harm to workers. Dispose of them in proper medical waste containers.

What Your Recycling Container Should Look Like

If you know what to look for, it’s easy to see if you’re on track. Compare your recycling container to the pictures below. Yours should resemble the one on the right. Want to learn more? Visit our Residential Resources page for printable reminders that can help everyone in your house become better at recycling.

  • Food Waste
  • Soiled or wet paper and cardboard
  • Liquid in bottles
  • Coffee Cups
  • Empty. Clean. Dry.
  • No smell or odor
  • No plastic bags
  • No bagged recyclables

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