If you see a recycle symbol, don't automatically place the item into your recycling cart or bring it to your community's recycling drop-off.
Think About the Item
First, think about what the item is. Is it a plastic cup/plate/container/toy? If so, then the recycling symbol with the number really exists to identify the type of polymer the item is.
Is it a battery? Batteries are best recycled at a facility such as ReWorks' Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center (HHWRC) or at a Batteries Plus Bulbs store. The symbol is letting you know that the battery should be properly recycled.
Batteries should never go into your recycling cart or community recycling drop-off center.
Is the material a plastic bag? These plastic bags are best brought to a grocery store and collected in bulk.
Is the material metal? Metal cans for food and beverage containers are recyclable in our recycling carts and at community recycling drop-off centers. However, any other type of metal needs to go to a scrap yard. This includes car parts, sheet metal, siding, etc.
Second, when in doubt about whether an item should go into the recycling cart or not, here are some tips:
- Contact your Solid Waste Management District or Authority. Here in Summit County, ReWorks is the Solid Waste Management Authority. You can email us or call 330-374-0383.
- If you cannot find an answer, please throw it out rather than recycle it. "Wish-cycling" is placing an item into the recycling system, when you don't know if it is recyclable or not. When we wish-cycle, often the item becomes a contaminant. While many of us feel that a certain item should be recycled, if there is no way to collect the item at our Material Recovery Facilities then where does recycled material go? Wish-cycled items make the recycling of other materials harder.