Los Angeles recycling "do's and don'ts"

August 03, 2010

So, we all try and recycle, right? I'm constantly rinsing out bottles, plastic containers and take-out containers to throw them in the recycling bin. But what is actually accepted once you put it into the blue recycling container? Am I doing more harm than help or is it really making a difference?

Here is a list of the "Do's" for Los Angeles:


-All Clean Dry Paper

computer, ledger, wrapping, arts and craft paper, unwanted mail, flyers, telephone books, note cards, newspaper, blueprints, magazines, file folders, paper bags, Post-it notes, catalogs; and all envelopes including those with windows

- All Cardboard Boxes and Chipboard

cereal, tissue, dry food, frozen food, shoe, and detergent boxes; paper and toilet rolls; and corrugated boxes broken down flattened.


- All Aluminum, Tin, Metal, and Bi-Metal Cans

rinsed if possible, soda, juice, soup, vegetables, and pet food cans;

pie tins; clean aluminum foils; empty paint and aerosol cans with plastic caps removed, and wire hangers


- All Glass Bottles and Jars

rinsed if possible, soda, wine, beer, spaghetti sauce, pickle jars, broken bottles, and etc.


- All Clean Plastics 1 Through 7

- Empty Plastic Containers

rinsed if possible, soda, juice, detergent, bleach, shampoo, lotion, mouthwash, dishwashing liquid bottles, milk jugs, tubs for margarine and yogurt, plastic planters, food and blister packaging, rigid clamshell packaging, etc.

- All Plastic Bags and All Film Bags

grocery bags and dry cleaner bags, and all clean film plastic

- All Clean Polystyrene (Styrofoam®)

Styrofoam® cups, containers, and packaging such as Styrofoam® egg shell cartons, Styrofoam® block packaging, and Styrofoam® clamshell packaging

- Miscellaneous Plastics

Plastic coat hangers, non-electric plastic toys, plastic swimming pools, & plastic laundry baskets

This is awesome! I had no idea we also recycled Styrofoam materials. That makes me so happy!

Here's a list of all the "Don'ts" for Los Angeles recycling:

Contaminated Paper

all soiled papers or bags with oils and food waste

Broken Glass

window glass, mirror glass, auto glass, light bulbs, fluorescent lights and ceramics

Other Plastic

plastic hygienic items, any electric or battery operated toys

Miscellaneous Materials

coated milk cartons, electrical cords, cloth/fabric, appliances, mini blinds, kitchen utensils, lawn furniture, garden hoses, rubber tires, construction materials, including asphalt or concrete, wood and wood products

Hazardous Materials

electronics, syringes, all partially filled aerosol cans and containers for cleaning fluids, automotive fluids, all batteries (including car batteries, household batteries, rechargeable batteries), pesticides, oil based paint, garden chemicals, and pool cleaners

-->Remember: REUSING is much more useful and less wasteful than recycling! Always try and reuse a container a few times before sending it off to recycling land.

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." -Baba Dioum

all info from Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation


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