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Sep 04

07/01/18 - Update on Plastic Recycling

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 4:39 PM by Jacob Smith

Plastic BottlesBottles & Jugs

As a reminder, at this time, only recycle plastic items such as plastic bottles and jugs:

  • Plastic jugs would include items with a handle such as milk and juice jugs as well as laundry detergent and fabric softener bottles. 
  • Plastic bottles also are okay to recycle. This would include water, sports drinks, and juice bottles, as well as shampoo/conditioner and liquid soap refill bottles.


Another way to look at this is, recycle any plastic bottle with a neck where a cap would screw onto it. But as you know, don't include the cap! Caps are too small to be captured in recycling facilities and they can contaminate other recyclables.

Unacceptable Items

Plastic items that were accepted in the past for recycling, but due to recent changes with the recycling industry are not any longer include items such as:

  • Butter/cheese containers
  • Clear plastic vegetable containers
  • Frozen food entrée serving containers
  • Yogurt cups

Plastic items have never been able to be recycled via home recycling carts or at community recycling drop-off centers include:

  • Empty bottles that held chemicals (motor oil, pesticides, etc.)
  • Laundry baskets
  • Storage bins
  • Toys

These items when no longer useful should be placed into the trash.


And lastly, items that should not be placed into recycling carts at home or at community recycling drop-off centers include:

  • Plastic bags
  • Hoses
  • Holiday lights
  • Plastic hangers
  • Electrical cords

These items tangle in the recycling machinery and when this happens, the machinery is shut down to remove the tangler. Shutting down the line impacts how much material can be recovered at recycling centers.

Plastic bags should be brought to recycling locations such as grocery and discount stores where they are collected in bulk. Plastic bags collected in this manner go to a recycling facility which has different systems in place to handle the plastic bags. The other items (hoses, holiday lights, plastic hangers, and electrical cords) all should be placed into your trash when they have reached the end of their usefulness.


Keeping up-to-date on recycling can be a challenge. However, we all benefit when people keep abreast of the changes. One factor that this continued education helps with is contamination. Contamination is an issue at recycling facilities. Doing whatever we can do to not contribute to increasing contamination is a good thing.

Currently one of the largest purchasers of our recyclables, China, has put strict guidelines into place for how much contamination they can accept in the bales of material they purchase.

Share This Message

We thank you for taking the time to read this and please help us keep recycling a viable option by sharing this message with as many people as you can. For additional recycling information, please visit our What Can Be Recycled in Curbside Carts page.