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    Wednesday, May 22, 2024

    To Recycle or Not Recycle

    We’re trying to reduce our waste, but figuring out what can go in the recycling bin is often confusing. Greasy pizza boxes, garden hoses, and plastic utensils for example —do not belong.

    “We call it wishful recycling — pots and pans, coat hangers, garden hoses, plastic bags, styrofoam, all can’t be recycled,” said Winston Averill, recycling coordinator for the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority (SCRRRA).

    Here’s a guide to what you can and cannot recycle.

    Do recycle

    Aluminum foil

    Cardboard: Besides cardboard boxes, brown bags, magazines, shoe boxes, empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls and cardboard egg cartons are recyclable. Flatten boxes if you can. And you can put pizza boxes in the recycling bin, but only if they are not soiled, according to Averill.

    Glass: Intact food and beverage bottles and jars.

    Junk Mail: While recyclable, unsubscribe from all unwanted subscriptions to really get rid of it.

    Metal and tin cans


    Office Paper

    Plastic containers: If labeled #1 or #2, it’s recyclable.

    These items you can recycle but not in your curbside bin

    Crayons: Send them off to the National Crayon Recycle Program, which will turn even broken crayons into new art supplies.

    Textiles: While you can’t put old fabric into your curbside bin, many southeastern Connecticut residents can recycle textiles through Simple Recycling. Some brands (& Other Stories, H&M and Madewell) have an in-store textile drop-off, while others, like For Days, offer mail-in.

    Toothbrushes: You can drop off toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, caps, empty dental floss containers and more things you use to keep your teeth healthy at select Colgate recycling program locations.

    Wine Corks: Natural wine corks are compostable; synthetic ones go in the trash or can be mailed for recycling to Cork Club (corkclub.com).

    Do not recycle

    Coat hangers



    Garden hoses

    Hazardous Products: Look on SCRRRA’s website for their dangerous products collection days and locations to dispose of materials, including weed removal chemicals, latex and oil paints, oven cleaner and more.

    Mirrors, window pane glass, auto glass, heat treated glass like glass cookware are not recyclable.

    Plastic bags: Some are recyclable at a plasticfilmrecycling.org location.

    Pots and pans



    Shredded Paper


    Yard Waste

    Don’t see an answer on this list? Use SCRRRA’s handy search tool at scrrra.org/resident/what-goes-where to look up pretty much anything.

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