Recycling in the Kitchen

Recycling in the Kitchen – The Tough Questions

May 25, 2021

In the Getting Started with Recycling in the Kitchen post, we took a quick tour around the kitchen to learn about the common recyclable items. But what about the things that are harder to know if they can be put in your recycling cart or not?

Can I recycle plastic bags?

No. Plastic bags are recyclable but not in your cart. Collect plastic bags and return them to your local grocery or hardware store. Most have plastic bag recycling options in their entranceway.

How clean do jars and containers need to be?

For glass, metal, and plastic containers, rinse them out and remove as much food residue as you easily can—no need to put it in the dishwasher, though. Let them dry, and then add them to your recycling cart.

What about lids?

Most lids and caps are recyclable. After you’ve rinsed the container, put the lid or cap back on if it’s the same type of material. If you’ve got a 2-liter plastic bottle, the plastic lid can go back on. But if you have a glass bottle with a metal lid, keep it separate but still recycle both.

Pizza box recyclingCan I recycle pizza boxes?

Yes and no. Parts of the box without grease or food residue are recyclable. Typically, you’ll be able to tear the top part of the box off and recycle it. Put any pieces of the box with grease or food residue in the trash.

Can I recycle my old pots and pans? They’re metal.

Not in your curbside collection. If they’re still in good condition, you could sell or donate them. Otherwise, taking them to a scrap metal recycler or throwing them away are your options.

Can I recycle old glassware? It’s glass.

Not in your curbside collection. If they’re still in good condition, consider donating or selling them. Otherwise, they go into the trash.

What about take-out boxes?

  • Styrofoam – goes in the trash
  • Plastic – look for the recycling symbol on the bottom of the container
    • If the number in the triangle is 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7, it can go into your recycling cart once it’s rinsed and dried

Are disposable masks, gloves, and wipes recyclable?

No. As you work to keep your family safe and as our community works to vaccinate for COVID-19, your kitchen may the gathering place for disposal masks and gloves. These items are not recyclable and should be thrown in the trash.

Sign Up for Your Recycling Cart

If you haven’t signed up for your recycling cart yet, fill out the online form at Sign-Up for Recycling or call PDC at (309) 674-5176, option 1. Overflowing recycling cart? You can sign up for a second recycling cart too. For more information about what can be recycled using your recycling cart and other details, visit the Recycling tab on our homepage.

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