What to Recycle
Accepted Items/Not Accepted
It’s All You! Your recycling matters. This educational image will help you to recycle right. Place accepted items ONLY in recycling containers. Think Twice! Putting items that are not acceptable into your recycling container can damage equipment, harm workers, and adds additional sorting and disposal costs. When in doubt, throw it out.
Include ONLY These Items in Your Recycling Bin
Do not plastic bag recyclables.
No Need to Sort! Our residential recycling program is single stream. We don’t require materials to be sorted. However, if you prefer to keep like items together to organize and contain your recyclables between collections, that’s okay too! Don’t be alarmed if the items are mixed in the truck together. Everything collected by the hauler will be separated at the processing facility.
Aluminum and Steel Cans
- Aluminum foil is not accepted.
- Decorative tins and sets of pots and pans or cooking pans are not accepted.
Food and Beverage Cartons
- Food and beverage cartons such as milk, juice, soup, creamers. Empty, rinse, and replace plastic caps before placing in your recycling container.
Glass Bottles and Jars
- Remove and throw away metal caps/lids from accepted bottles or jars before putting them in the recycling container.
- Drinking glasses, canning jars, Pyrex, window glass, and ceramics are not accepted.
Paper and Cardboard
- Greasy pizza boxes are not accepted. Half is better than none! If the top of the pizza box is grease free, recycle it.
- Ice cream containers are not accepted.
- Receipts are not accepted. This thin paper can contain non-recyclable layers and chemicals.
- Hardback books are not accepted. Remove the book cover to recycle book paper pages.
Kitchen, Laundry, Bath: Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Tubs
- Spray pumps on plastic bottles are not accepted. Remove pump before recycling.
- Plastic garden plant pots are not accepted.
Leave These Items Out of Your Recycling Bin:
NO! Plastic Bags or Plastic Wrap
- Plastic bags are the #1 contaminate found in curbside recycling containers nationwide.
- Return plastic bags to local grocery and retail stores to recycle.
- Plastic bags and other tanglers can cause equipment damage at the processing facility when they get wrapped around moving parts, causing additional processing and disposal costs.
NO! Do Not Bag Recyclables
- Do not bag recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags will not be opened at the sorting and processing facility.
- Bags will be landfilled.
NO! Tangles, Cords, Hoses or Chains
- No hoses, wires, chains or electronics are accepted.
- Holiday tree lights are not accepted.
NO! Flammables, Fuel Tanks or Batteries
- No propane tanks, flammables, paint, or batteries are accepted.
- No plastic motor oil bottles are accepted. Motor oil residue has become one of the biggest contaminants for our plastic markets. The residue seeps into the porous plastic and cannot be removed through the washing process. Of course, you should never try to rinse or wash a motor oil bottle yourself since motor oil down the sink or storm drain causes a much larger environmental crisis than a plastic bottle in the trash. Save those containers to pour used motor back in for return to your local automotive parts store.
- No batteries of any kind are accepted. Ever. Lithium batteries can cause fires.
NO! Food or Liquids
- Food contaminated items such as pizza boxes or aluminum foil are not accepted.
- Any food left on your containers may attract pests to your recycling bin.
NO! Styrofoam or Foam Products and Carryout Packaging
- No Styrofoam or foam products of any kind including cups, carryout packaging, and packaging materials like peanuts.
NO! Shredded Paper
- The shreds clog the machinery, contaminate the glass process, and ends up as litter inside the processing facility. Contact a local animal shelter to see if they accept donations or use in composting.
NO! Aerosol Cans, Plastic Pumps
- Aerosol cans are not accepted.
- Spray pumps are not accepted.
NO! Broken Glass
- No window glass or mirrors.
NO! Metal or Plastic Furniture
- Large metal or plastic chairs, cabinets or containers are not accepted.
Local recycling efforts matter. However, the general public in our service area needs to understand that recyclers accept only certain items in its residential (curbside) and drop-off recycling programs. These items are accepted for a specific reason, they can be recycled and made into new products. Unfortunately, either by accident or misunderstanding, unacceptable items continue to be placed in recycling containers. Do not place items out for collection that are larger than what will fit into a sorting machine. All of the unacceptable items will be landfilled; they may also contaminate the items that we can recycle in this area.
Car batteries, and any other type of large, lead-acid batteries cannot go into your household trash or recycling. You can look up where to dispose of car and other lead-acid batteries on Earth911 or visit any automotive parts store. Likewise, rechargeable batteries must be taken to a collection site that can be found on Earth911 or visit the Berks County Solid Waste Authority Electronic Recycling Center. Regular AA, AAA, or other letter-named batteries are now safer to throw directly into the trash, but they can also be recycled into different things such as cement or new batteries. No matter what you decide to do with your regular batteries, make sure to tape the ends since they could have a little spark left and could start a fire if they come into contact with other batteries.