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 graphic

'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:

1. Aluminum/Steel Cans - Must Be Empty!
2. Plastic Bottles with a screw-on or pop top cap - Must Be Empty; absolutely no other plastic items. Learn more here.
3. Corrugated Cardboard - Flattened and empty of all packaging.

What You Cannot Recycle


1. NO juice or dairy cartons
2. NO shredded paper
3. NO plastic berry or yogurt/cottage cheese containers
4. NO soda/beer/cereal/cracker boxes unless they have that distinctive corrugated layer
5. NO plastic bags
6. NO paper products (newspaper, mail, magazines, glossy inserts, printed office paper, pamphlets, catalogs)
7. NO glass

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.

The list of acceptable recyclables has been fairly consist for decades. However, recent changes in markets for recyclables have forced some hard decisions about what is acceptable going forward. In recent months, the Town Commission voted to remove glass and mixed paper (newspaper, mail, magazines, glossy inserts, printed office paper, pamphlets, catalogs, and cereal/soda/cracker boxes). The only paper product that remains is cardboard. With the rise in online shopping there is a lot of cardboard. 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.  This means that materials that don’t have any buyers must be put in the trash.  

Please check this page regularly because market changes can result in a change in what you Can and Cannot recycle. 


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.

Florida Recycles

This is a wonderful and upbeat video that drives home the message about not contaminating your recycling cart or recycling dumpster with materials that are no longer acceptable in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s recycling program. Based on the recent removal of glass and mixed-paper from our recycling, the video is no longer up-to-date for our community.

Here’s a cool video on how to eliminate contamination from your recycling Florida Recycles Florida Recycles Florida Recycles.