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Guest Blog: WM – Recycle Often. Recycle Right.

By October 11, 2018November 21st, 2023No Comments

Have you ever heard the phrase, “one bad apple spoils the bunch?” The same is true for recycling, where one non-recyclable item can spoil an entire batch of otherwise good materials.

A single, wrong item in the recycling bin represents a global problem that’s preventing thousands of tons of recyclables from ever seeing a second life. Don’t let this spook you! Join us in the battle against contamination. Help give items a second chance by keeping these twelve items out of your recycle bin.

NO Recyclables in plastic bags. Empty loose recyclables in the bin but leave the plastic bag out.

NO Food and Liquids. Items such as pumpkins, candy corn, and soda do not belong in the recycle bin. What a horrible oozy, yucky, disgusting recipe this creates! Compost if you can or toss them into the trash.

NO Electronics and small appliances.Donate if they are still in good condition. Check for a local drop-off site.

NO Textiles, bedding, rugs and carpets. Items such as old Halloween costumes can be donated if they are still in good condition.

NO Hoses, holiday lights, hangers and extension cords. That can be really creepy and also costly!!!! They can wrap around equipment and shut down an entire facility! Find a drop-off location at

NO Plastic bags, film/sheeting, and flexible packaging. Take plastic bags back to a local grocer to keep the bags clean and dry, and prevent them from shutting down recycling facilities. What a scream! There is nothing funny about shutting down the facility! Plastic bags can also start fires when they get hot wrapping around equipment! Visit to find a drop-off location near year. Smaller flexible packaging, like candy wrappers, should be tossed into the trash.

No paper napkins, plates, cups and tissues. After you host a party, these items should be composted if possible or belong in the trash.Don’t let your germs go viral!

NO Expanded Polystyrene (aka foam). Foam and plastic to-go containers are not recyclable curbside. Find drop-off programs for items like foam peanuts at Foam décor items should be reused or donated. Share your amazing spookiness with others by donating!

NO Tires, auto parts and scrap metal. These items do not belong in the recycling cart or the trash cart. Contact local scrap recyclers or retail tire stores for recycling options, or check for a drop-off center near you. Check Pinterest for some ‘spooky’ art décor ideas to use your old tires & scrap metal.

NO Concrete, wood and construction debris. These items damage equipment and are safety hazards. Schedule a bulky pick-up if possible, otherwise throw them into the trash.

NO Yard waste and wood. Compost or put in your yard waste cart, if available. Otherwise, it belongs in the trash.

NO Non-recyclable plastic. Not everything made of plastic is recyclable. This includes Halloween masks, fake vampire teeth, and faerie wands. Recycle only food and beverage bottles, jugs, tubs, and jars!

​Blog post written by Greta Calvery of Waste Management.