Have a Recycling Question? Consult the RTS website, with its many details about what can and cannot be recycled, and check out our FAQs below. When in doubt, avoid contamination in the recyclables, and put the item in the trash.
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Recycling FAQs: Use the search box to filter the list
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Should caps and lids be left on plastic bottles and milk jugs?||Yes. Caps and lids from all plastic bottles and jugs may now be LEFT ON for recycling.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Should metal lids be left on jars and glass bottles?||Yes, leave the lids on. Make sure the jar/bottle is clean. Labels do not have to be removed.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||I bought some fruit in a clear plastic container that has no recycling number. Can I recycle it?||No, because it has no number. Unless the food container has a Recycling Symbol/Number 1-7, (and is clean), it is trash and cannot be recycled.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||How clean do recyclables need to be?||Food residue should be removed. For many bottles and jars, a quick rinse is adequate. (To save water, use leftover dishwashing water.) If there is sticky residue, swish the water around inside or use a brush or rag to remove the residue. If you can't clean the container, it's better to throw it away.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||My tennis ball container has a recycling number. Is it recyclable?||No. Tennis ball containers are trash, not recyclable. In order to be recyclable, a container must have a number, and it should be a container for food, beverages, or household products such as shampoo, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap. Not recyclable: tape dispensers, dental floss dispensers, plastic packaging for non-food products like watches.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||I see that the RTS accepts large plastic items for recycling such as laundry baskets, trash barrels, recycling bins, lawn furniture, plastic children's toys, 5 gallon pails, pet carriers. Where is the container located where I can drop off those items?||The RTS used to have a bin next to the scrap metal pile for bulky plastic recyclables, but that has been removed. Check with an RTS staff member if you have a large plastic item for recycling - do not put bulky plastic items in with the commingled recyclables. As a rule, bulky rigid plastic should be one single type of plastic -- look for the triangle recycling symbol with the number 1, 2, 4, or 5 inside the triangle. Things like PVC pipe, garden hoses, CD cases, or a kid’s car seat are not acceptable.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Can I recycle my small pill bottles?||No. Please put them in the trash.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||I have tea tins and cookie tins (i.e., the round butter cookie tins). Do these go in scrap metal or should I put them in commingle with the regular tin cans?||These specialty tins should go in the scrap metal section in the North Area.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Can I recycle black plastic take-out containers that have a recycle number on the bottom?||No,the recycling facility's optical scanners can not the read the recycling code on black plastic.
Please put them in the trash.
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Can I recycle plastic flower pots?||No. Please put them in the trash.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Can I put the metal ends of paper frozen juice containers into the commingle bin?||No. They are too small. But you can put then in the "scrap metal" pile/area.|
|Glass, Metal & Plastic Household Containers||Can I put metal bottle caps and keys into the commingle bin?||No. They are too small. But you can collect stray metal scraps like this in a metal can, then put the can in the "scrap metal" pile/area.|
|Mixed Paper||Can I recycle paperboard boxes from frozen food, like veggie burgers or frozen pizza?||No, frozen food packaging is not recyclable, because the paper is coated with plastic to prevent it from getting soggy.|
|Mixed Paper||Can I recycle paper coffee cups||No. To make them leak resistant, they are coated with plastic that is tightly bonded to the paper. Please put them in the trash. You can avoid paper cups by bringing your own reusable travel mug or asking for a mug if you are going to drink your coffee at the cafe.|
|Mixed Paper||Can I put shredded paper in with mixed paper at the RTS?||Yes, you can include shredded paper in the mixed paper bin at the RTS - place in a paper bag. If you use a private hauler, however, you should check with them -- they may not want shredded paper in the single stream recycling.|
|Mixed Paper||I get advertising cards in the mail that feel plastic coated. Can I put them in mixed paper?||No, plastic coated cards are not recyclable. If you're not sure, try tearing the card. If it's plastic coated it won't tear easily.|
|Mixed Paper||Can I put cardboard milk and juice containers in mixed paper?||No, these have a plastic liner and can not be recycled.|
|Mixed Paper||Is it OK if I put corrugated cardboard in mixed paper?||Please put corrugated cardboard in the corrugated cardboard bin - it is more valuable than mixed paper, so it is recycled separately.|
|Corrugated Cardboard||How do I know if a box is made of corrugated cardboard?||Corrugated cardboard has three layers. The outside layers are flat the middle layer is wavy or ruffled.|
|Corrugated Cardboard||Can I recycle waxed cardboard boxes?||No. It can not be recycled with cardboard, but it can be composted.|
- 11/2/22 Recycling & Solid Waste Forum – Needham DPW RSW Presentation
- 11/2/22 Recycling & Solid Waste Forum – Casella Presentation
- NRC Press Release: China and Recyclables 051518
Links on the Web
Bay State Recycling
Recycles worn, ripped and stained textiles into insulation, carpet padding, soundproofing material, and industrial wiping cloths.
Beyond Plastics - Plastic Free/Zero Waste Holiday Gift Guide
Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles
Educational Resource for Textile Recycling
South Shore Recycling Cooperative
Provides support and education for correct recycling and waste minimization practices