Curbside Recycling: What Can and Can’t Be Recycled

The U.S. curbside recycling program is now more than 30 years old. It has been a vital and consistent source of raw materials to manufacturers worldwide.

It provides millions of Americans with the opportunity to participate actively in the protection of the environment and climate change mitigation.

What Can Be Recycled Curbside?

Most items, even the complicated ones, contain plastic, metal, paper, or glass – all of which can be recycled.

If your county’s curbside service doesn’t accept your items, there are recycling facilities and drop-off centers out there that can help.

Although it may be easy to just toss items in the garbage, it’s worth it to our planet to give your old items new life.

These are the most common items that can and can’t be recycled through the curbside recycling program.

Curbside Recycling

  • Plastic products
  • Paper
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Mixed papers
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Metal containers (e.g. tin, aluminum and steel)

What Can’t Be Recycled Curbside?

Can’t Be Recycled Curbside

  • Anything with food on it (e.g. oil-soaked pizza box)
  • Used paper towels, tissues and diapers
  • Broken ceramic, lightbulbs, and mirrors
  • Styrofoam
  • Electronic waste (e-waste)
  • Construction and demolition debris

Some curbside programs are offering organic waste removal, where paper materials with food residue can be recycled along with all other food waste.

Check out our other blog post on How to Recycle?

Related content:
Why is Recycling Important?
Benefits of Recycling

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