Advanced Recycling


Mixed Residential Curbside Recycling Myth Busters View the entire document by clicking here.

Myth:  The recycling arrows on a container means it is recyclable in my town's program

Answer: Only in some cases. (page 2)

Myth: It doesn't mattter if something belongs in the recycling cart, the hauler will sort everything anyway

Answer: False. (page 2)

Myth:  All plastics can be recycled with my bottles and cans

Answer: False.Please don't include plastic bags, styrofoam® or other soft or crinkly plastics!  Only rigid containers. (page 4)


  • Q: What kinds of plastic are recyclable in my town's recycling program? A: Most clean rigid containers. (page 4) Those numbered 1,2 and 5 are the most desirable.

  • Q: Are cartons, juice boxes, pizza boxes, and paper beverage cups recyclable in my town's program?  A: It depends (page 5)  In sum, only gable top and aseptic cartons, and clean pizza boxes can be recycled.  No frozen food containers, paper cups, paper ream wrap or beer/soda packaging- a plastic layer is either embedded or sprayed on, and cannot be separated.

  • Q: What about paper towels, napkins, tissues, shredded paper, and paper plates? A: No (page 6)

  • Q: Does my town include glass in it's recycling program?  A: All SSRC town programs accept glass bottles and jars.  No drinking glasses, window panes, light bulbs, or ceramics - these can ruin a whole batch of new bottles at the other end.

  • Q: Aerosol cans?  A:  Only if completely empty (page 7)

  • Q: How clean is "clean"? A. Quick rinse for most liquids, spatula empty for thick liquids. (page 8).  Hint:  Shake some water in your almost empty bottle of shampoo or laundry detergent and get one or two more washes.

  • Q:  What about hoses, tanks, shower curtains, candy wrappers, swing sets, skis, bowling balls, diapers, silverware, pots and pans, engine blocks, and holey socks? A:  Don't do it!  Only paper, cardboard, bottles   and rigid containers, can be recycled with the paper, cardboard, bottles and rigid containers. (page 8)  See the SSRC Recycling A-Z page to learn what to do with many other reusable and recyclable materials.

Discover the proper way to recycle plastic bags and other tanglers (holiday lights, clothing, etc.)  This does not just go for Chicago, but for everywhere. 


Take a video tour of the Waste Management recycling plant in Avon, where many of our towns’ recyclables go. Rosemary Nolan narrates.