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small recycle binMost items we purchase at the grocery store or retail outlet come in some kind of “packaging”; cans of soup, bottles of ketchup, bags of salad, boxes of cereal, jars of jelly. The good news is that a vast majority of it can be recycled!

Recycling has become easier and more convenient than ever. Recyclables no longer need to be separated out by the different material types; all paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal can be mixed together in your curbside cart.

Make recycling easy in your home by creating a “Recycling Station” in your kitchen or garage and pair your trash can with a recycling bin.

  • Rinse out containers or jars that contained food or liquids (think milk jugs, yogurt or margarine containers, peanut butter or jelly jars, shampoo or laundry detergent bottles, etc.) Don’t forget about recycling in the bathroom, too!
  • Break down all cardboard boxes (including cereal or cracker boxes, tissue boxes, etc.). Pizza boxes are ok as long as they are free of grease and/or food.
  • Empty recyclables into your curbside cart loose; do not place them in a plastic bag.
  • Do not contaminate your recycling with trash or yard waste, recycle smart!

Plastic Bags can’t be recycled in your mixed recycling cart. Many stores will take them back, so you can bag up your clean and dry bread bags, tortilla bags, dry cleaning bags, and other film plastic to take back to the store on your next visit. To find a store that accepts them near you, visit PlasticFilmRecycling or Earth911. Whether you drop off film plastic at take-back location or place in your garbage can, knot it before you toss it to prevent airborne litter. 

Remember, all the materials we recycle are made back into new goods, but the “recycling loop” is only closed if we also purchase these products with recycled content. Read tips on how to buy recycled.

For more recycling information, download a free Recycling Brochure.