Green Recycle

What do those numbers mean? Recycle Your Plastics!

It was announced a couple of weeks ago that my city is now recycling all plastics #1-#7. I am so excited! Most areas collect plastics #1 & #2 and if you have a Whole Foods nearby then you could drop off your #5s. But now nothing has to go in the garbage. Yay!

What household items can I now recycle from each category?

#1 plastics (PET or PETE polyethylene terephthalate)- soft drink & water bottles (though we use a water filter a lot!) are what my recycle container is mostly filled with. Other common ones you don’t think about as much are mouthwash, salad dressing, mayo, ketchup, bbq sauce & peanut butter jars.

#2 plastics (HDPE high density polyethylene) – milk & juice are the most widespread recycled items in this category. But don’t forget your cleaning solutions, detergent, medicine/vitamin bottles & even your contact solution.

Go through your bathroom & fridge and take a close look at the bottom of the plastic items. Almost all of them fit in these two categories.

#3 plastics (vinyl or PVC) – not common at all for everyday use siding, windows, wiring.

#4 plastics (LDPE low density polyethylene) – lids – from all the plastic kid cups from your favorite restaurants. Only #4 I could find around here!

#5 plastics PP (polypropylene) is more common then you would think and was so glad I could drop mine off at Whole Foods. I collected yogurt containers, plastic cups the kids got with their meals, individual fruit & microwavable pasta/soup bowls, cream cheese, cool whip, & even my deodorant.

#6 plastics PS (polystyrene) did you know you could recycle your plastic plates & cups? Yep you can! And your doggy bag containers from when you eat out too!

#7 plastics Misc some food containers. I found an applesauce cup. Or if you are tired of watching your DVDs you can now throw them in the recycle bin! But I suggest you swap them at

Do you recycle? What unexpected items have you found to put in your bins?


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  • Just this summer our town gave out HUGE recycle bins a bit bigger than our regular garbage bins b/c they are collecting ALL the plastics too now. And doing "single stream recylcing, so glass, metal, cardboard, paper also goes in the same bin. The scary thing is... we FILL the recycle bin up every two weeks!!!! WOW - so it's like we're recycling 50% of the garbage we make!! (garbage goes out every week, recycling every 2)... that is pretty incredible!
  • We did not get bigger bins - unless this is in the works and I don't know about it but I now have a 3rd container of my own I use and set out. It's great how much you can recycle and it's scary to see how much we use in a 2 week time period!

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