Single-Stream Recycling

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Single-Stream Recycling

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR RECYCLING

Don’t Use A Bag!
Never bag recyclables. Items should be placed in the cart loose.

Why?
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.

Why?
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.

PAPER

Junk mail, newsprint, magazines, copy paper, phone books, etc.
Used paper towels, tissues, etc. are considered soiled and should be thrown away

METAL CANS

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.

GLASS

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 Electronics

Recycle at a DSWA Recycling Center Find The Closest One Here

NO Batteries

Recycle at DSWA Recycling Center Find The Closest One Here

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 Styrofoam

Recycle at a DSWA Recycling Center Find The Closest One Here

NO Garbage

DSWA has facilities statewide for the disposal of trash. Find a facility here

NO Mirrors or Window Glass

Not all glass is the same. Some glass uses chemicals that are not suitable for the recycling process.

NO Tanglers
(hoses, string lights etc)

Items like hoses, string lights and wires tangle up recycling equipment.

NO Scrap Metal

This type of metal can be taken to a scrap yard.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Download Recycling Poster 

Delaware How To Recycle Guide 

DNREC Recyclopedia 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