Don't bag your recyclables

Don’t Bag Your Recyclables

Putting your recyclables in plastic bags causes problems. The recyclables inside can’t get properly sorted, and the bags can get tangled in the machinery. As a result, bagged recyclables are pulled from the sorting lines by workers and sent to the landfill. It’s better to keep your recyclables loose in your bin.

How you can Recycle Right

Recycling helps reduce pollution, save energy, conserve natural resources, and support local jobs and businesses. Follow these tips to make sure your recycling efforts don't go to waste.

Empty, clean and dry

Empty out liquids, rinse or scrape out food residue, make sure paper and cardboard are dry, and keep your recycling bin closed to shut out rain.


Do not bag your recyclables, keep them loose

Toss your recyclables straight into the curbside bin. If you’re worried about cleanliness or convenience, consider using a paper or reusable bag to line your indoor recycling bin.


Not everything can be recycled

Even items that have the recycling symbol may not be accepted for recycling in your program or even in the state.


Put these items IN the recycling bin:

Blue recycling bin

Cardboard goes in the recycling bin

(remove plastic tape and flatten)

Paper goes in the recycling bin.


Clean bottles go into the recycling bin

Plastic bottles and jugs

Clean cans go into the recycling bin.

Metal food and beverage cans

Keep these items OUT of the recycling bin:

Don't put food and liquids into the recycling bin.

Food and liquids

Don't put hoses and wires in the recycling bin.

Tanglers (hoses and wires)

Don't put plastic bags into the recycling bin.

Plastic bags and film

Don't put takeout containers and polystyrene foam into the recycling bin.

Takeout containers and polystyrene foam

Don't put batteries and hazardous waste into the recycling bin.

 Batteries and haz waste

When in doubt, find out.

Check local recycling guidelines about glass bottles and jars

Glass bottles and jars

Check local recycling guidelines about other plastics

Other plastics

Check local recycling guidelines about cartons.


Check your local recycling guidelines to ensure you’re putting the right materials in your recycle cart. Putting prohibited items in your recycling bin can put workers at risk, adds to the cost of recycling, and reduces the value of other recyclables.

Recycling FAQ