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Why Raleigh Recycling Does Not Accept These Items...
Posted on Aug 30th, 2012

Why Raleigh Recycling Does Not Accept:
1.Aerosol Cans - Aerosol cans that are not empty may leak or explode during the sorting and baling processes of recycling. In addition, federal law requires treating pressurized cans as hazardous waste and makes it very costly.
2.Auto Batteries - Most stores that sell auto batteries will take them back. This is usually true whether you purchased the battery from them or not. Auto batteries also contain chemicals that can be harmful to our workers.
3.Books - Bindings on books make them difficult to recycle as they contain glue which gums up the recycling equipment in the pulping process. Why not practice reuse?
4.Egg Cartons (lowest grade of paperboard) - Paperboard egg containers are already made from paper that has been recycled several times. The recycled paper fibers have become so short that they are not useful in making new paper products. Fibers simply wash down the drain.
5.Non-Food Cans - May contain residues from insecticides, herbicides, varnishes, etc. These residues cause problems with the recycling machinery.
6.Non-Food Glass Containers - Some manufacturers put chemical stabilizers in the glass containers they make for non-food products. These chemical stabilizers would cause problems in the recycling process.
7.Hangers - Hangers jam up the recycling plant equipment that sorts metal cans. Ask your dry cleaner if they will accept the hangers back for reuse. (The are also accepted for recycling in the "scrap metal bin" at Wake County Convenience Centers.)
8.Pizza Boxes - Food residue, especially oils from the pizza, make these boxes unsuitable for recycling.
9.Plastic Bags - Most grocery stores have collection boxes. Bags in a sorting facility are a nightmare for jamming equipment!
10.Plastic Motor Oil Bottles - Residual oil can make a mess of the entire batch when it is washed.
11.Plastic Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam or #6 plastic) - There is no local market for this material. Shipping it to a far away facility would be cost prohibitive and the GHG emissions created in transporting them are more harmful to the environment than disposing of them.
12.Deli Trays or Frozen Food Trays, Plastic Plates - These trays and other thin, flat plastic objects are not currently recyclable in our program because they cause a sorting problem at the facility. Because they are flat they get sorted out by machines along with other thin and flat materials (paper!) and end up contaminating the paper bales. Please continue to put these items in the trash.
13.Plastic Clamshells (berry boxes, etc.) - Clamshells and other thin brittle plastic items are not recyclable because there is no stable market for them at this time. In addition, when they are thrown in the truck and dumped on the sorting floor at the sorting facility they usually get flattened and present the same problem as above (sorting problem), contaminating the paper bales. Again, please place them in the trash.
14.Plastic Cups (thin) - The ones made of thin brittle plastic are not recyclable for the same reason as the clamshells. Please avoid purchasing these cups when possible. "Souvenir "cups" made of durable and flexible plastic (like margarine tubs) are recyclable since they are not made of the same material.
15.PLA cups or containers - The broad #7 category was designed as a catch-all for "other" plastics. Unfortunately compostable plastics made from bio-based polymers, like cornstarch, are also included in this category and labeled with a #7. Look for the words "PLA, "compostable" or "biodegradable". Please look carefully for that coding and if you see it, DO NOT put it in the recycling container. They are designed to be composted, not recycled!



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