HOW TO PREPARE YOUR RECYCLING
Don’t Use A Bag!
Never bag recyclables. Items should be placed in the cart loose.
Plastic bags can get caught in the machinery causing delays and damage to equipment. Recycling facilities are not able to efficiently or safely sort bagged materials.
Empty. Clean. Dry.
All items that you place in your recycling cart need to be emptied of their contents, cleaned of residue, and free of moisture.
Liquids and other residue can ruin paper, cardboard and other materials in the recycle bin, making them unrecyclable
WHAT GOES IN SINGLE SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLING?
These items are acceptable in your curbside recycling bin and at DSWA single-stream drop-off center bins.
Junk mail, newsprint, magazines, copy paper, phone books, etc.
Used paper towels, tissues, etc. are considered soiled and should be thrown away
Aluminum or steel (tin) cans
Remove lids and recycle them separately
HARD PLASTIC CONTAINERS
Water bottles, milk jugs and detergent containers, etc.
Lids are too small to recycle by themselves, so leave them on or throw them away. If you can poke your finger through the plastic, it doesn’t belong in your recycling container.
Green, brown and clear bottles and jars
Remove lids No window glass, dishes or mirrors
CARDBOARD & CARTONS
All boxes that are made from paperboard or corrugated cardboard
Break down cardboard boxes. It makes them easier to process and leaves more room for other recyclables.
WHAT CAN’T GO IN SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLING?
NO Plastic Bags
Return to stores for recycling
NO Food Waste
Trash or Explore Home Composting
NO Yard Waste
Separate from household trash and dispose of at a DSWA facility. Locator your nearest facility here
NO Shredded Paper
Small materials on their own can get stuck in sorting machinery. Rule of thumb: if it’s larger than a credit card, it’s good to go. If it’s smaller than a credit card, trash it.
NO Frozen Food Containers
In order to protect the food contents from freezer burn and the paper from any moisture, a plastic polymer (wax-like substance) is sprayed on the frozen food boxes.
NO Mirrors or Window Glass
Not all glass is the same. Some glass uses chemicals that are not suitable for the recycling process.
(hoses, string lights etc)
Items like hoses, string lights and wires tangle up recycling equipment.
Take A Virtual Tour of Delaware’s Materials Recovery Facility and see how your recycling is sorted and prepared to be sent to market: DSWA Delaware Recycling Center Tour