Six Items That Are Surprisingly Recyclable

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Curbside recycling has grown over the years and many cities offer it as a way to make recycling easier for their residents. You might already know about some of the things you can recycle such as cans and bottles and cardboard boxes and containers. However, recycling has gotten much bigger than these things and can now usually accept more items. For one thing, more manufacturers are making items that are recyclable, so the list of things which you can recycle has grown. Here are some things that most cities allow in their curbside recycling bins that they may not have allowed when the programs started.


Believe it or not, you can recycle many of your child's broken plastic toys. The toys should be made of rigid plastic and fit within the bins.

Laundry baskets/hampers:

These also must be made of rigid plastic and must be broken down so that they can fit into your recycle bins.

Coffee pods:

Those single-serve coffee pods can usually be recycled as long as you completely clean out the coffee grounds.

Junk mail:

Of course junk mail, magazines and just about any type of paper can be put into a recycling bin. Just make sure you remove your name and address labels to keep your privacy.

Aerosol cans:

These can be recycled only if they're completely empty and did not originally contain hazardous material. If they can't be recycled, then take them to a hazardous waste disposal center.

Milk cartons:

In the past, milk cartons were one of those items that weren't allowed in recycle bins. However, that has changed recently and just about any food carton can be put in the recycle bin.

There are also several things that many cities don't allow in recycle bins, but are otherwise recyclable through special programs. These include batteries, shredded paper, colored paper, ceramics and plastic bags. None of these can be put in the recycling bins, but they may be allowed at specialized facilities or, in the case of plastic bags, at the store where you got the items.

These are just general guidelines. Check with your city's recycling program before assuming that the items are recyclable. Also, check plastic items for a special triangle mark with a two, four or five in the middle. These items are usually the easiest for most cities to recycle. Recyclables with a three, six or seven are often not accepted and are best recycled at a separate facility. For items such as clothing or dinnerware that are in good condition, consider donating them to a charity.

For more information, contact professionals like Industrial Services Inc.