Scrap metal, hangers, pieces of rope or hose, pieces of wood, yard waste and children’s toys are just a few of the items that “contaminate” the recyclables. Scrap metal may be taken to a scrap dealer, yard waste should be composted and reusable children’s toys may be donated or thrown away if broken. Do not put them in the recycling bins.
Plastic bags present another problem. Recyclables should never be put in plastic bags. Plastic bags are not recyclable in curbside programs. They jam the source separating equipment at recycling facilities. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to your local grocery store and plastic trash bags should be used for trash only not recyclables.
Most curbside programs in Chester County collect mixed paper, flattened corrugated cardboard cut down to 18” x 24”, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers #1-5 plus 7. Our programs also collect clean aluminum foil and pie tins and empty steel aerosol cans. No Styrofoam, polystyrene, foam. Everything else should be thrown away and that’s okay. Remember only plastic containers and bottles with recycling symbols can be recycled. If there is no recycling symbol, throw it out. Most recyclables will come from the kitchen or in the mail as paper or corrugated cardboard. If you really want to do something positive for the planet, do it right. If in doubt, throw it out!
Still unsure or want to know more? Click here for a list of recyclable (and non-recyclable) items.