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What about these things?

Recycling Centers and Curbside Programs see a lot of items that don't belong.  These things are considered contaminants and can ruin bales of recyclable materials, damage machinery and injure workers.

Some of these items may be recyclable but not in curbside carts or drop-off programs.  They must be collected separately and taken to a collection center for recycling.

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Hoses, cords &

Called tanglers in the recycling industry, these are not recyclable.  They commonly wrap around machinery used to separate materials and create dangerous work environments.

Plastic Bags, Film & Wrappers

Some grocery and retail stores offer recycling for plastic bags.  When put in curbside bins, they end up in paper bales and get caught on machinery at the materials recycling facility (MRF).

Plastic Objects, Toys, Straws & Pouches

Plastic comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and uses.  Unless it's a container, bottle, jar or tub it cannot be recycled in curbside programs.  It will not be recycled.  Instead, it will cause contamination.

Foam Egg Cartons, Packaging & Peanuts

Foam is mostly air, making it difficult to sustainably recycle.  Some grocery stores and special collections offer recycling, but foam (plastic #6) should never be placed in a curbside cart or drop-off bin.


Batteries are dangerous when mixed with other recyclables, even causing fires.  They should only be recycled only where special facilities or collections exist. Some home improvement stores collect rechargeable.

Food & Liquids
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Recycling should never include food, liquids or even containers or paper that have a significant amount in or on them.  You can compost food and liquids to make a beneficial soil amendment.


Old clothes and shoes should never go in curbside or drop-off bins unless they are specifically marked.  Thrift stores will gladly accept clothing and wearable shoes.  Unwearable shoes should be thrown away.

Shredded Paper

Shredded paper just causes a big mess in a recycling center that sorts out recycling and can causes contamination in other materials that have been sorted.  Shredded paper can be easily composted.

Glass Containers, Cups & Light Bulbs

It may all look like the same type of glass, but it's not.  Only containers, bottles and jars should be recycled when they are part of a curbside or drop-off program.  Any other type of glass is a contaminate. 

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