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There are different materials, different ways to recycle, and different items are accepted in different areas. Recycling can be complicated, but with a little guidance you can recycle right. 

The first steps are: "know what to throw," and "when in doubt, throw it out!"
Next is to make sure any recycling is empty, clean, and dry and loose (not in a bag).  

Below is a list of common curbside and drop-off recyclable items.


Paper & Fiber

  • Cardboard boxes 

    • Corrugated: ex: shipping boxes

    • Paperboard: ex: cereal and pasta boxes

    • Pizza boxes: Make sure to remove or tear off any parts with grease or cheese residue! 

  • Office paper, envelopes and mailers (plastic windows, staples, and metal closures are fine)

  • Newspaper, including inserts & coupon pages

  • Magazines and catalogues

  • Wrapping paper: only plain, no metallic, glittery, or containing adhesives

NOT RECYCLABLE: Tissue paper, paper towels, facial tissue, toilet paper, egg cartons, multi-material mailers

CHECK WITH YOUR HAULER: Shredded paper, cartons (soup, milk, etc)



  • #1 Plastics: 

    • Water, soda, and food bottles (check with your hauler about leaving caps on)

    • Cleaner, dish detergent, soap, and shampoo bottles (remove pumps)

  • #2 Plastics: Bottles and jugs (ex: milk jugs and laundry detergent containers)

  • #5 Plastics: Check with your hauler about food jars, tubs, restaurant takeout containers, pill bottles

NOT RECYCLABLE: #3, 4, 6, & 7 Plastics, unnumbered plastics, multi-layered plastics

CHECK WITH YOUR HAULER: Other #1 plastic container shapes (ex: berry or deli containers), #5 plastics (food jars, tubs, restaurant takeout containers, pill bottles)

DROP-OFF LOCATIONS AVAILABLE: Plastic bags, plastic film, & styrofoam (Indianapolis-area only)


  • Aluminum, tin, or steel food & beverage cans

NOT RECYCLABLE: Batteries, electronic waste, scrap metal

CHECK WITH YOUR HAULER: Aluminum foil & foil pans, cat/dog food cans, aerosol canisters

DROP-OFF LOCATIONS AVAILABLE: Scrapyards will often take all metal, but check locally



  • Food and beverage containers

NOT RECYCLABLE: Glassware, dishes, bakeware, windows, fiberglass, lightbulbs, string lights, light fixtures, anything heat resistant



Indiana prohibits househoIds, organizations, and businesses from throwing electronic items in the trash. E-waste includes all kinds of electronics, cords, appliances, and more. 


Common types of electronic waste:

  • Televisions and monitors

  • Computers (desktops, laptops, tablets, mice, keyboards, etc)

  • E-readers

  • Fax machines, printers, and scanners

  • Peripherals (including keyboards, mice, external hard drives, projectors, adaptors, cords and any other devices that are sold for external use with a computer)

  • DVD players and gaming systems

  • Digital media players and photo frames

  • iPods/MP3 players and speakers

  • Phones, cell phones, and their cables

  • Camcorders/cameras

  • DVR/TiVo devices (including cable boxes and satellite boxes, but not satellite dishes)

  • Small electronic appliances

  • String lights and some light bulbs

  • Fans and space heaters

  • If it has a cord, it’s probably e-waste!



Hazardous waste contains dangerous chemicals or pollutants that could contaminate water, soil, the air, and more. 


Common types of household hazardous waste:

  • Cleaning products

  • Pesticides and herbicides

  • Gasoline, brake fluid and motor oil

  • Ammonia and bleach

  • CFLs and fluorescent light tubes

  • Lead acid batteries

  • Cooking oil

  • Paint and paint thinners/strippers

  • Propane tanks less than 20 lbs.

  • Thermometers and thermostats



These should not go in your recycling bin. Items include:

  • Plastic bagsShopping, produce, bread, cereal, and dry cleaning bags

  • Shipping materialsSome plastic mailers (plastic material only), bubble wrap, and air pillows

  • Plastic filmSome case and stretch wrap: (Stretch the plastic around your finger, if it breaks it is not recyclable.)



Scrap yards accept most types of metals:

  • Metal furniture and shelving units (ex: file cabinets and tables)

  • Metal siding and roofing

  • Copper wiring and piping

  • Household items made of metal

    • Cookware, bakeware, and silverware

    • Water bottles and tumblers

    • Large and small appliances

    • Food storage containers

    • Tools and hardware

    • Empty aerosol containers

    • Scissors and knives




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