Plastics Recycling Grows Up

After years of trying to explain to my confused clients which plastics went into the recycling bin and which didn’t, I’m delighted to say that New York City has revised its rules.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is now accepting all rigid plastics in recycling pickups.  What does that mean, you ask?

Here is a list of rigid plastics from the NYC recycling web site:

  • plastic bottles, jugs & jars
  • rigid plastic caps & lids
  • rigid plastic food containers (yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, “clamshell” containers, other plastic take-out containers)
  • rigid plastic non-food containers
  • rigid plastic packaging (“blister-pak” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.)
  • bulk rigid plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)

For my own edification, I made up this rule:  if it’s plastic and you can crumple it up in your hand, then throw it in the garbage.  If you can’t crumple it up in your hand, then recycle it.

Just remember to thoroughly clean all containers with soap and water before recycling.  That makes them more saleable to the companies that buy them, which means more money for NYC!

For information about all NYC recyclable rules, see their web site.

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