Recycling 101: Intro to Bins

photo courtesy of City of Malibu

Accumulating some trash is inevitable. Luckily, much of our trash is recyclable including metal, glass, plastics, paper, and cardboard. You may think it only takes common sense to figure out what goes in which bin, but beware. There are certain items that seem like they belong in the recycle bin, but they really don’t.

Contact your hauler for specific information on what can be recycled in your area. The company phone number should be placed somewhere on the bin.


Paper and Cardboard
Paper that is contaminated is not recyclable – that means no pizza boxes, no paper product take-out containers, no used tissues or paper towels. You can put your newspapers in the bin, but remove rubber bands. Recycle that cereal box, but trash the liner.


Glass
Only glass bottles and jars are accepted. Never place light bulbs or fluorescent tubes in the recycle bin or trash bin. Other glass items not accepted for recycling include mirrors, window panes, broken dishware, or vases.


Metal
Any aluminum foil, metal cans or lids are accepted. Don’t place wire hangers in the recycle bin; you can take them back to the dry cleaners for re-use. And, any electronics should be taken to a household hazardous waste / e-waste round-up for proper disposal.


Plastics
Most haulers take plastics that are labeled 1-7. Generally, if the plastic item does not have a number, don’t place it in the recycle bin (no toys, garden hoses, or shrink wrap). Expanded Polystyrene (plastic 6) foam packing material is usually not recycled; find a Waste to Waves location to recycle block foam into surfboards.