You Can Recycle More Than You Think

Posted on August 01, 2017

You may have the basics of curbside recycling down. You put bottles, cans, cardboard, and paper in your bin; you avoid wish cycling; and you generally know what to throw. But there is more you can do! Recycle even more by adding another room to your recycling routine or utilizing drop-off locations for items that can’t be recycled curbside.

This, Not That

Don’t be afraid to ask for help on what you can recycle. There are resources available that will help you find the best way to dispose of almost any item. Or start adding more items to your recyclable list like glossy paper, toiletry boxes, laundry detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, and cartons.

Know what to throw by remembering these tips:

  • Recycle food and drink cartons. Don’t recycle food and drink pouches.
  • Recycle paper. Don’t recycle paper soiled with food like napkins. Compost it!
  • Recycle plastic egg cartons. Don’t recycle Styrofoam egg cartons.
  • Recycle food and beverage bottles and jars. Don’t recycle drinking glasses.

The Winning Combination

Get the most out of your recycling program and make sure to keep wish cycling items out of your curbside bin. If your recycling cart is full by the time your pick-up day comes around, but your garbage can still has room in it, you should be proud of yourself. By ensuring that everything in your cart is recyclable and safe for facilities, you avoid the problems created by wish cycling like wasting time, money and creating more waste. Don’t forget that “not accepted in curbside bins” doesn’t mean “not recyclable.” Use drop-off locations for items that can’t be recycled curbside to bring your habits to the next level.

There, Not Here

Some items that cause problems for facilities are still recyclable via drop-off options and county facilities. Keep those items out of the garbage can and use recycling options instead. It’s worth the trip!

Did you know you can recycle these?

Some items may not seem recyclable because they are considered household hazardous waste, but county household hazardous waste drop-off sites can help keep them out of your garbage.

  • Batteries – They may be small, but they can be a big problem for recycling machines. County facilities and retail outlets accept many types of batteries.
  • Scrap Metal – It may be dangerous for workers and cause problems with machinery, but it has value if brought to a scrap yard or county facility
  • Paint – Use a recycling option like a county drop-off site or a PaintCare retail location.
  • Motor Oil and Oil Filters – Oil can be made into new oil products. Bring motor oil and filters to a county HHW site or seek a collection option at an automotive service center.

Here, There and Everywhere

Maximize your recycling efforts by recycling at home with your curbside bins, at work, out and about, and by bringing items to drop-off locations. Make recycling easy with signs when possible. Look for recycling options and ask for them if you don’t see them!


Origins, a body care store throughout the metro area, accepts empty make up containers. Lipstick and mascara tubes, make up containers, eye and lip liner pencils and so on. They also accept pumps from bottles of body and hair care.

So a box spring/mattress is recyclable. Where?

We recommend checking with your county to see if your drop-off facility will accept a box spring/mattress, or if there's a city clean-up day you can bring the mattress to.

I'm a disabled woman without a car, or access to a car. I have two old TV's and a printer that need to be dropped off at a site that accepts such things, as well as some light bulbs and batteries. Right now all of these items are in my storage locker. I have a very limited income or I would hire some one to take these items to a proper drop-off site. The TV's are very heavy and would require two strong men to carry them out of my apartment building. I wish that your organization would send some one around once a year to pick up items like these from people like myself who don't have means for dropping them off. I am trying to be good about recycling, but I really could use some help. I am sure there are other people out there in the same situation that I am.

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