Keep these items OUT of the Recycle and Compost bins

Plastic Bags

  • Plastic Bags are a "Hard to Recycle" item
  • Bags need to be kept seperate, clean, and dry
  • Take bags to a special place for recycling: CHaRM, Grocery Stores, Home Depot
  • Do not put bags in your normal recycling bin
  • Bags get caught in recycling sorting equipment and cause machines to break/bind up
  • Avoid plastic bags and bring reusable bags wherever you go

Paper Cups

  • Most paper cups have a plastic lining on the inside
  • This plastic lining cannot be seperated when recycling paper back to pulp
  • Plastic linings create enough contamination to ruin a batch of paper recycling
  • Do not put any paper cups into the recycling bin
  • If the cup says "compostable", it can go into the compost bin

Wrappers & Packets

  • "Film Plastics" or thin plastic films cannot be recycled in your normal recycling bin
  • Wrappers and packets cannot be easily seperated with sorting equipment
  • Wrappers and packets often do not have an end market to turn into a new product
  • Some companies, like Teracycle, have options if wrappers are kept seperate and shipped directly to them

Frozen Food Boxes

  • Frozen food boxes have a "chemical wet strength" barrier that soaks through paper fibers
  • "Wet strength" is used to prevent freezer burn or leakage in transport
  • This chemical also contaminates the paper recycling process when mixed with normal paper fibers
  • Some companies make recyclable frozen food boxes, but most frozen boxes are not recyclable so keep them out of the recycling

Styrofoam

  • Styrofoam is not acceptable in your normal recycling bin
  • #6PS (PolyStyrene) Block Foam is a "Hard to Recycle" item and has to be kept seperate, clean, and dry to be recycled at a special location (CHaRM in Boulder)
  • Styrofoam serving ware (cups, plates, to-go boxes, utensils, etc) cannot be recycled and must go to the landfill
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts cannot be recycled.  Please put them in a bag (so they don't fly away into the creek) and put them in the landfill bin

Neon & Goldenrod Paper

  • Neon, Goldenrod, and any Heavily Dyed paper is not recyclable
  • The paper fibers have too much dye to be removed without a lot of chemicals, if at all
  • Imagine putting a red sock in your white laundry load... it will dye the rest of the paper and ruin a batch that is being recycled

Ceramics

  • Ceramics contaminate the glass recycling process
  • Ceramics have a different melting temperature than glass
  • If mixed with glass during recycling, ceramics cause impurities in the glass, causing it to break
  • Donate any dishware, mugs, or reusable dishware to your local thrift store
  • Ceramics cannot be recycled themselves and must be put in the landfill

Mirrors, Lightbulbs, & Glass Panes

  • These glass types all contaminate the glass recycling process
  • They have a different melting temperature than glass
  • If mixed with glass, these items will cause impurities in the glass, causing it to break
  • Donate any reusable mirrors to your local thrift store
  • Mirrors cannot be recycled themselves and must be put in the landfill
  • Light Bulbs can be taken to a hard to recycle location or must be put in the landfill
  • Glass Panes can be taken to a hard to recycle location or  must be put in the landfill

Lab Glass & Pyrex

  • Lab Glass and Pyrex Glass have different melting temperatures than glass in drinking bottles
  • Any amount of these items will contaminate the glass drinking bottle recycling process
  • There are currently not any markets to use recycled lab glass or pyrex, so they must go into the landfill