Throw in your trash cart
In addition to common trash items, the following items are not recyclable and must go into your trash cart. Many of these are made using combination of materials that cannot be separated at the recycling facility or cause problems during the sorting process either by getting tangled in the equipment or getting sorted improperly.
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.
Foil wrapping paper
Reuse, if possible.
Frozen and refrigerated food boxes
Paper boxes that are made with a plastic coating keeps them from getting soggy when exposed to moisture. The plastic coating cannot be separated from the paper in the recycling process.
Gift bags if coated, plastic or laminated
Foil, glitter or plastic overlay is bonded to the paper so it stays on securely and, as a result, cannot be separated from the paper in the recycling process. Reuse, if possible.
Greeting Cards/envelopes with foil and glitter
Including ribbon, metal charms, buttons, vinyl overlay and musical greeting cards. Foil and glitter is bonded to the paper so it stays on securely and, as a result, cannot be separated from the paper in the recycling process.
Paper beverage cups
Like freezer boxes, “paper” cups are coated with wax or plastic so they don’t dissolve when filled with hot or cold liquid.
Pizza boxes are often soaked with grease and food residue. However, if they are clean, you can put them into your recycle cart.
Plastic water bottles
Bottles that are easy to crush (including thin, crinkly, lightweight plastic bottles that are commonly sold in bulk cases) become flattened in the sorting process and get sorted incorrectly. They end up the paper stream, which lowers the quality of the recycled paper and makes it harder to sell.
Ribbons and bows
Save and re-use for other gifts.
Manila envelopes with bubble wrap
Paper mailer envelopes lined with plastic bubble wrap cannot be separated by recycling equipment.
It gets tangled in the machinery at the sorting facility.