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4 Things That Can Surprisingly Go in the Blue Bin

Updated: May 25, 2020

Keep reading to find out some items you may have been throwing into the trash that can actually be recycled!

#1: Some batteries including rechargeable batteries and some single-use batteries can often be recycled. Contact your local recycling centers for their exact parameters on recycling batteries as guidelines can differ for different recycling plants. Most recycling plants will require you bring your batteries to specific battery recycling facilities rather than just tossing them in your blue bin. If your local recycling plant does not accept batteries, many national retailers such as Best Buy, Staples, Home Depot, and Lowe’s do!

#2: While it is common knowledge that plastic milk cartons and detergent bottles can be recycled, there are quite a few other plastic items that can surprisingly be recycled as well. These include car seats with the cloth removed, plastic swimming pools, non-electric plastic toys, plastic laundry baskets, and depending on your local recycling facility’s guidelines, some plastic clamshell containers and empty yogurt and butter containers. While plastic bags cannot be thrown in the blue bin, many grocery stores and markets have plastic bag drop-off bins including Walmarts and Targets; the bags are then reused for things like composite decking.

“Many grocery stores and markets have plastic bag drop-off bins including Walmarts and Targets; the bags are then reused for things like composite decking.”

#3: Believe it or not, aerosol cans can be recycled as long as they are COMPLETELY empty otherwise they are considered hazardous waste. To ensure that your aerosol can is empty, hold down the nozzle and spray into a washcloth until nothing can be heard, not even air. Then toss that sucker into the blue bin!

#4: Many people believe that if a jar or container previously containing food such as peanut butter or yogurt cannot be thrown into the recycling unless it is squeaky clean. While it is important to rinse out these containers before recycling them, don’t sweat the last few smudges of peanut butter. Small amounts of residual food shouldn’t pose a contamination threat to other items in your recycling bin and will not interfere with the recycling process.


"30 Amazing Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle." Conserve Energy Future. Accessed April 30, 2020. https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/30-amazing-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-recycle.php

Nystul, Jill. September 28, 2018. "19 Things You Can Recycle That Will Suprise You." One Good Thing. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/surprising-things-you-can-recycle/

"Do You Know What Goes in the Blue Bin?" Clean Streets LA. January 16, 2017. http://cleanstreetsla.com/blog/2017/1/16/do-you-know-what-goes-in-the-blue-bin

"Plastics: What's Recyclable, What Becomes Trash — and Why." NPR. Accessed May 4, 2020. https://apps.npr.org/plastics-recycling/

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