Nowadays you can recycle just about anything from yard waste to paper products to plastics.  Figuring out what materials your local curbside pick-up will accept is fairly easy with the help of the internet.

You can find your local recycling center by using this handy tool: Find a Recycling Center.

You can find out what items are picked up curb-side by using this handy tool: Who Picks Up My Recycling?

Once you establish what you can put out front on garbage day, remember to check every item before you toss in in with the trash.

Recycling Symbols:

Plastic containers are clearly labeled with  numbers 1-7.  Below find a brief overview of what each of these symbols mean.  Most curb-side recycling will collect all numbers except  6.

PETE 1 (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Found in most single-use soft-drink and water bottles.  Also found in other household containers.

Recycled into fiber, carpet, and paneling.

HDPE 2 (High Density Polyethelene)

Found in motor-oil bottles, juice jugs, detergent bottles, and cereal box liners.

Recycled into other bottles, lumber, fencing, drain pipes, and floor tile.

PVC 3 (Poly Vinyl Carbonate)

Found in cleaning solution bottles, shampoo bottles, clear food containers, and sometimes windows and piping.

Recycled into lumber, mats, and highway fixtures.

LDPE 4 (Low Density Polyethelene)

Found in squeezable bottles, plastic bags, and carpets.

Recycled into garbage bags, bins, package padding, and floor tiles.

PP 5 (Polypropylene)

Found in medicine containers, some syrup or ketchup bottles, sipping straws.

Recycled into trays, pallets, and other plastic goods such as bins, wire covers, ice scrapers, etc.

PS 6 (Polystyrene)

Found in Styrofoam containers, Styrofoam cups, and other Styrofoam-like materials.

Difficult to recycle and non-biodegradable.  Avoid using PS 6 until better recycling programs are available.

7 (Miscellaneous Plastics)

Found in plastic items such as computer parts, 5-gallon jugs, and nylon.

Recycled into end-use products such as lumber and highway materials.

Number 7 plastics contain the group of plastics so often in the news for containing Bisphenal-A or BPA a type of Polycarbonate, or hard plastic.  Studies have shown that these types of plastics can leech hormones and other carcinogens into the environment making them dangerous for use around small chidren.  Many sites now list items that are specifically manufactured without the use of BPA.  One example of BPA-free children’s products can be found here.