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Confused about where to put common household items after you've used them up? We know it can be a challenge, so we've gathered the top five items customers have asked about and provided the answers below. Want to know more about other items? Check our What Goes In, What Stays Out page for a comprehensive list.

What Goes In, What Stays Out 


Plastic Caps and Lids


Plastic Caps and Lids

Plastic caps and lids are too small to be recycled. These items can fall through the screens and slip out of bales and become trash along roadways.

Where does it go?
Place clean and dry plastic lids and caps into Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bag.


Plastic Salad Container


Clear Salad Containers

Large clear containers that hold leafy salad mixes, spinach or lettuce are made with crinkly or flexible plastic that becomes flattened in the sorting process and gets sorted incorrectly. They end up the paper stream, which lowers the quality of the recycled paper and makes it harder to sell.

Hinged-lid (clamshell) or containers with separate lids used for take-out salads, berries, tomatoes, sandwiches and other deli items also fall into this category.

Where does it go?
Toss into your trash cart.


Toothpaste and Cream/Lotion Tubes


Toothpaste and Cream/Lotion Tubes

Accepted items in empty tube packaging (toothpaste, lotion, etc.) can be thrown into the bag without being cut open and rinsed. The small amount of product left in the tube will be handled in the process.

Where does it go?
Place empty tubes into Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bag or toss into trash cart.


Plastic Mesh Plastic Bag


Plastic Mesh Produce Bags

Mesh net bags made with stretchy plastic that hold fresh fruit or vegetables can cause problems because they can get tangled in the sorting equipment.

Where does it go?
There are a couple of options for plastic mesh produce bags. Reusing them is best. Bring them to the grocery store to carry loose fruits and vegetables and store the produce at home. They can also be placed clean and dry into the Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bag or into your trash cart.



Manila envelope with bubble wrap


Mailer envelopes

Paper mailer envelopes lined with plastic bubble wrap cannot be separated by recycling equipment.

Where Does It Go?

Reuse if possible or toss into your trash cart.