The following items don't belong in your recycling bin.
Tanglers Don't Belong
Cords, ropes, and hoses are not recyclable, but they can often be creatively reused. Cut hoses and ropes into shorter lengths and put them in a box in your garage or shop. You may be surprised by all the creative uses you come up with for them. Want ideas? Google “Reuse ideas for garden hose”.
VHS tapes are another surprisingly common tangler at our recycling plants. VHS tapes do not belong in your recycling bin!
Small Items Don't Belong
A great way to keep small objects like plastic utensils and straws out of the recycling stream is to not use them at all! Try searching online for “travel cutlery” and “reusable straws”. They’ll often come with a convenient carrying case or cleaning kit. Consider changing the way you order: Could favorite take-out place skip the plastic forks and sauce packets? Could your server bring your drink without a straw?
Scrap Metal Items Don't Belong
Scrap metal does not belong in your recycling bin, but local scrap metal recyclers will often accept both ferrous and non-ferrous metals and they might even pay you for them. Search online for scrap metal recyclers near you. If you’re unsure, consider calling ahead to make sure they will accept your item.
Plastic Bags Don't Belong
Plastic bags don’t belong in your recycling bin, but you can recycle them at participating grocery and retail stores. You will notice that many stores have a bag collection bin in their entry area. Click here for an online directory. Another great option is to get into the habit of bringing reusable bags when you shop.
Food Waste/Liquids Don't Belong
Depending on where you live, you may have access to a drop-off facility that accepts food waste or a curbside collection service. Many households use backyard composting for a portion of their food waste. Check with your local county extension office or solid waste district to see if your community provides discounts on backyard composting bins. In addition to reducing your waste, you’ll produce great compost for your garden!
Electronics Don't Belong
Electronics don’t belong in your recycling bin, but they don’t have to be trashed. Look online for recycling and donation options for your used electronics. Reputable vendors will ensure that your data is fully destroyed to protect your security. Look for vendors who are certified by R2 Solutions or e-Stewards.
Clothes/Textiles Don't Belong
By donating your clothes, you reduce waste while also helping people in need. These national organizations that accept donations: Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans of America, Planet Aid, and Career Gear. More locally, you can donate to local churches, homeless shelters, thrift stores, and clothing drives. Animal shelters will often appreciate old towels, blankets, and rags.
Batteries Don't Belong
Batteries don’t belong in your recycling bin because they contain materials that are toxic if not properly dealt with. To find the best disposal option for you, visit earth911.com. If you find yourself going through disposable batteries often, however, it might save you money to switch over to rechargeable ones.
Bagged Recyclables Don't Belong
If you collect your recyclables in a plastic bag, please simply dump the recyclables out into your bin. You can then place the plastic bag in your trash or – better yet – take the (clean and dry) bag to a retail or grocery store with a bag collection program. Another option is to collect your recyclables in a reusable bin or box that you periodically empty out into your curbside recycling bin.