Recycle Right

Make Sure You Know What Plastic Can and Cannot be Recycled

Household plastics

May 22, 2020

As we work to stay healthy during the COVID-19 health crisis, we’re using many products packaged in plastic, everything from bleach and liquid soaps to hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes.

Franklin County’s curbside and drop-off recycling programs accept a lot of plastic material, but not all. Do you know what is and isn’t recyclable?

When it comes to plastic, don’t look at the number on the bottom of an item. That merely indicates what type of plastic the item is made of. Instead, look at the shape of the item.

Franklin County’s curbside and drop-off recycling programs accept bottle-shaped plastics, which means anything that has a neck smaller than the base. This includes plastic jugs and bottles for water, soda, bleach, milk, shampoo, dishwashing soap and many household cleaners.

The containers for disinfecting wipes, on the other hand, are not recyclable because they’re shaped like a cylinder, not a bottle. So they need to be tossed in the garbage. Likewise, plastic clamshell containers, plastic gloves, plastic tableware, plastic cups and plastic utensils are not recyclable through Franklin County’s program, either.

If your bottle-shaped plastic container has a pump or nozzle, like liquid hand soap or lotion, please remove it and throw that part in the garbage or reuse it on other bottles. If possible, give plastic containers a quick rinse to minimize the amount of food and residue left inside. And while trash should always be bagged, keep recyclables loose in your recycling cart.

By recycling plastics the right way, we can significantly reduce the amount of plastic material that ends up in the landfill and increase the amount that’s recycled and used to manufacture new products.

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