This question often comes up. People are concerned that not all of the materials they put in their recycle bin are recycled. Their concern is that some end up in landfills. This leads some to minimize their recycling efforts. According to several major waste management firms in Montgomery County, all of the acceptable recycled materials listed above are being recycled.
You should continue to recycle all of the items listed above.
Things You Should Not Put into Your Recycle Bin
Here is a list of things that cannot be recycled and should not be put into your recycle bin:
- Foam containers and cups, even if they have a recycle symbol on them,
- Cups coated with wax or plastic such as soda cups,
- Plastic bags such as grocery store bags (You can often take these bags back to the grocery store.),
- Flexible packaging such as chip bags or juice pouches,
- Plastic wrap,
- Container caps,
- Diapers, yes, some people throw soiled diapers into their recycle bins.
Avoid Contamination of Recycling Materials with Food or Liquids
Materials contaminated with food or liquid cannot be recycled. Here is what you should do:
- Check that the material is recyclable. Contact your hauler to see what materials they accept. The “recycle symbol” on the bottom of containers identifies the type of plastic, not whether your program recycles it or not.
- Rinse jars, bottles, and cans that have visible residue in them. A quick rinse is usually adequate.
- Throw away heavily soiled items.
Recycling is Required
Municipal and state regulations require that residents, commercial establishments and non-residential establishments recycle all recyclable materials. Commonly recycled materials include:
- Paper – newspaper, office/copy paper, glossy paper, color paper, cardboard, junk mail, phone books, cereal/cracker boxes
- Plastic – bottles and jugs No. 1-7
- Glass – clear, green and brown containers
- Metal – aluminum, steel, tin, and bimetal cans and containers
You should check with your hauler for a complete list of acceptable recyclable materials.