Recycle chart

Dos And Don'ts

Those recycling icons at the bottom of bottles, cans, boxes, containers and other used goods tend to get a little confusing when it comes to what to recycle and how. Use the Recycle Chart to determine what materials are safe to recycle and which should be trashed.
  • aluminum cans
  • tin, steel and bi-metal cans
  • aerosol cans, empty and without pressure
  • metal lids from jars, cans and bottles
  • metal food trays

  • aluminum foil
  • pie pans
  • scrap metal
  • foil juice bags
  • coat hangers
  • propane tanks

  • plastic bottles (must remove caps, pumps, sprayers and lids
  • milk containers
  • drink bottles
  • cleaning product and bleach bottles
  • shampoo and bubble bath bottles

  • plastic bags
  • plastic wrap
  • plastic bottle tops
  • plastic cups
  • packing peanuts
  • motor oil or pool chemical containers
  • styrofoam
  • clear food containers
  • plastic egg boxes
  • photos or film
  • plastic toys
  • medical supplies
  • large plastic items
  • pesticides and herbicides
  • garden plastics and flower pots
  • food storage and microwave containers
  • solvent, paint and adhesive containers
  • yogurt and margarine tubs

IMPORTANT NOTE: Plastic bags get caught in the equipment used for recycling, so never recycle plastic bags. Instead, recycle bags at your local grocery stores.

  • milk cartons
  • juice containers
  • newspaper and inserts
  • magazines
  • junk mail
  • office paper
  • telephone books and catalogs
  • cardboard (flattened)
  • cartonboard such as cereal boxes and 6-pack cartons
  • brown paper bags
  • egg cartons paperboard only
  • shredded paper
  • frozen food packaging
  • soft cover books

  • waxy cardboard or paper ice cream containers
  • pizza boxes
  • towel or tissue rolls
  • rubber bands
  • plastic wrap from newspapers
  • photos
  • remove plastic and foil from cereal boxes
  • blue print paper
  • cardboard saturated with poultry or meat juices
  • packing material
  • bar soap or detergent bottles

  • glass food and beverage containers (don't need to remove labels)
  • wine bottles
  • clear, green or amber in color glass jars (don't need to remove labels)
  • glass food and beverage containers (don't need to remove labels)
  • clear, green or amber in color glass jars (don't need to remove labels)

  • window glass or mirrors
  • incandescent or fluorescent bulbs
  • dishware or ceramics

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Comments on "Recycle chart"

Jack February 22, 2012 | 1:23 PM

This is all based on where you are and who picks it up because scrap metal and others are recyclable but it is a special place it has to usually be brought. It all depends on the areas knowledge of recycling also because some areas are years behind others in how to and mechinary to use to recycle items

neverknowmyname September 25, 2010 | 11:38 AM

some people just dont care

GreenSistah June 05, 2010 | 3:10 PM

Thanks SheKnows. This is a great chart, I will refer my clients to it.

Alex April 06, 2010 | 12:03 PM

my recycle bin is the side of the road and the woods.

Jeff November 21, 2009 | 7:07 AM

At least according to the recycling list provided by my city - Rockville - the list provided here is not accurate. As others have said, people should check with their city recycling programs - more than half of the items listed here as 'not recyclable' are listed as 'recyclable' by my city. July 08, 2008 | 6:21 AM

I'm amazed at some of the most used and simple items you CANT recycle. Some communities will p/u glass but dont recycle it because it's too expensive to process.

beba April 28, 2008 | 1:48 PM

What about the cardboard material used in soda and beer cases?

Doris April 23, 2008 | 4:48 PM

My plastic detergent bottles all have the recycle symbol on the bottom, and my city's recycle info says they can be. Your best bet is to check with your municipality; every town has different rules for their facilities.

vonda fredet April 23, 2008 | 4:04 PM

I didn"t know that you can recycle stuff.

Sue Ellin Carter April 17, 2008 | 11:54 AM

Wow! I never knew you couldn't recycle plastic bags curbside. Thanks Sheknows! great chart.

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