HomeThe CSWD BlogRecyclingGood news: Now you can recycle more stuff!

Good news: Now you can recycle more stuff!

Looking ahead into our 30th year as an organization, and armed with a new General Manager, we’ve been gazing into our crystal recycling bin to see if there’s any way to include more types of material. Not only do we have to make sure that there are viable recycling markets for whatever we accept, but we also have to make sure we can process it at our Materials Recovery Facility. We recycle about a bin and a half per second there, and have finite space in which to handle each material stream.

Happily, we found some items that we can work into our system. For those of you who pore over every word of the Chuck-it Guide (you’re amazing!), you’ll recognize some of these as changes to our past recycling policy.

You can now recycle all of these items in your blue bin or cart in Chittenden County:

Frozen food boxes

You can recycle boxes from frozen dinners, frozen veggies, refrigerated butter, etc.

No ice cream tubs and no beverage/soup cartons (milk cartons, juice boxes, aseptic containers, etc.).

Pizza boxes

You can recycle a pizza box, even if it’s lightly greasy!

No great globs of grease, and absolutely no stuck-on food. Food and recycling never mix! If you’re unable to remove food, the item belongs in the trash (or, in the case of a cardboard box, it could be composted).

Bakery boxes

Bakery boxes can go in your recycling bin—with or without a plastic window.

No stuck-on food!

Cash register receipts

The thermal receipts you usually get at the gas pump and many retailers were once considered unrecyclable due to the chemicals used for thermal printing. That’s no longer an issue.

Paper ream wrap

When you buy a ream of paper, it often comes wrapped in a layer of paper. Paper wrap was once considered unrecyclable due to moisture-resistant treatment used to protect the paper inside. That is not an issue anymore.

However, any wrap made from plastic, or that has a thin plastic liner (usually visible when you tear the wrap) is still not recyclable.

Metal jar lids

In the past, the rubbery seal on the underside of many jar lids meant that they couldn’t go in the blue bin. That seal isn’t a problem for recycling companies anymore. Of course, we still take them at all of our Drop-Off Centers as scrap metal, too!

Metal jar lids must be separated from the containers they come on.

Foil tops

As long as they are collected in a 2″ foil ball, foil tops from yogurt & drink containers can be recycled in your blue bin.

If a foil top goes in a blue bin by itself, it acts like paper—and ends up contaminating the paper recycling stream.

For answers to all of your questions about our blue bin recycling program in Chittenden County, see our Blue Bin Recycling page.


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Marketing & Communications Manager at CSWD
Jonny joined CSWD in 2014 after several years abroad where he ran websites, film projects, classrooms, and half marathons. Originally from Virginia, he was drawn to Vermont's strong sense of community, apple cider, and the search for Champ.