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Keep These Items Out of Your Curbside Recycling Bin

Boulder has facilities for just about every item you'd want to donate, recycle, or compost. But not everything should be dropped in your household’s curbside recycling bin.

Why? Because some items can damage sorting equipment, others have no market and certain items pose a threat to the health and safety of those working with recyclables.

Damage to sorting equipment

Shredded paper, plastic bags, scrap metal, cables and hoses can cause costly damage to sorting equipment and should be kept out of curbside recycling bins. And remember – don’t bag your recyclables! Keep everything that does belong in the bin loose.

No market for certain items

Definitely avoid tossing Styrofoam and other types of disposable cups, including plastic and takeout cups, into your bin. There also is no market for chip bags, candy wrappers, or plastic utensils.  

Health and safety risks

Discarded food is great for the compost bin, but please keep it away from the curbside recycling bin. Other unsafe items include liquids, batteries and syringes.

Please note that some of the items listed about, and plenty of others not mentioned here, can be recycled elsewhere. Visit bouldercolorado.gov/zero-waste/what-goes-where or EcoCycle.org/A-Zguide to learn more.