Recycling overview

Why Recycle

Recycling is a partnership between residents and the recycling facility that sorts and distributes our recyclables to businesses which turn them into something new and useful. The goal is to maximize recycling and minimize garbage. You can place all recyclables in the same container. Single-stream recycling is easy and convenient, but don’t be a WISH-CYCLER.

'Wish-Cycling' is when we load up our recycling cart with items that cannot be recycled; we just hope they will be. This action may be well intentioned, but it ends up creating more problems that solutions.

What You Can Recycle

Everything you recycle should be placed loose in your recycling container, never bagged. Why? See an explanation here.

Single-stream recycling includes only the basics (please note the recently included items):

  1. Aluminum, steel, and tin cans
  2. PET bottles with a screw top marked with "#1"
  3. HDPE bottles marked with "2"
  4. Plastic containers marked with #3 through #7*
  5. Newspaper, mail, magazines, glossy inserts, pamphlets, catalogs, and phonebooks*
  6. Uncoated paperboard (like cereal, food, and snack boxes)
  7. Uncoated printing, writing, and office paper*
  8. Corrugated, uncoated cardboard and containers

*Recently included items for recycling services

What You Cannot Recycle

  1. Plastic bags and bagged items
  2. Glass, porcelain, and ceramic items (including mirrors, light bulbs, glass/metal cookware, windows, and auto glass)
  3. Glass food and beverage containers (includes brown, clear, and green glass)
  4. Expanded polystyrene
  5. Hoses, cords, and wires
  6. Flexible plastic or film packaging
  7. Food waste and liquids
  8. Microwavable trays
  9. Coated cardboard
  10. Unnumbered plastics
  11. Coat hangers
  12. Household appliances and electronics
  13. Yard waste, construction debris, and wood
  14. Needles, syringes, IV bags, or other medical supplies
  15. Textiles, cloth, or other fabric
  16. Napkins, paper towels, tissue, paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils
  17. Propane tanks, batteries

The above is not an inclusive list, but it’s many of the most common household items over which there may be confusion. If an item is not recyclable, but it seems wasteful to toss in the trash, please check out some Alternative Options for Disposal.

It’s important to remember that recycling is a process. Placing something in your recycling cart just makes it available to be recycled, it does not mean that it will be recycled. The material in the blue recycling cart has to be collected, transported, sorted, baled, and then sold to someone who wants to turn it into a new product. Only then has recycling actually occurred. The market for items such as glass have greatly diminished over the past several years and there is no longer a demand for it. This means that materials that don’t have any buyers must be put in the trash.

Best Practices

  • Do not bag your recyclables! Note: bagged items are automatically assume to be trash and discarded at the recycling facility.
  • No liquids allowed: soda, beer and food cans should be emptied before being placed in your cart. Liquids are a common contaminant.
  • Lightly rinse containers: heavy food residue may attract bugs. Perfectly clean is not a requirement when rinsing.
  • Break apart different materials: lids and caps can be recycled, but remove them from containers. All packaging material should be removed from boxes and discarded.