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What can't be recycled


The Blue Cart can recycle a lot of things, but there are some items that can't be recycled.

When our recycling sorting facility gets items it can't handle, these materials can seriously injure a worker, get stuck in equipment, shut down the facility or spoil the quality of good recyclables.

See what items can be recycled. If you are not sure where to put an item, check What Goes Where.

These items cannot go in the blue cart or recycling depot

No hazardous materials

Hazardous Materials Can't Be Recycled
  • Aerosol cans
  • Car batteries
  • Cleaning products
  • Gardening products
  • Helium tanks
  • Lighters
  • Oil
  • Paint cans
  • Products for your vehicle
  • Propane tanks, bear spray or canisters
  • Smoke detectors
  • Thermometers
  • Needles
  • Other products with a hazardous symbol

Take these items or empty containers to a year-round household hazardous waste drop-off location.

If a container has a hazardous materials symbol and a recycling symbol bring it to a household hazardous waste drop-off.

No scrap metal

Scrap metal
  • Aluminum siding
  • Car parts
  • Electrical wire
  • Pots and pans
  • Shelving racks
  • Wire coat hangers

Scrap metal is not accepted in the Blue Cart program or at community recycling depots. To recycle your scrap metal, check What Goes Where to find out where to take it.

No foam cups, food containers or packaging

Foam cups food or packaging containers

Polystyrene foam packing materials, cups, food containers and trays, even if it has a recycling symbol #6, must be placed in the garbage.

No construction materials

Construction materials
  • Bricks
  • Concrete
  • Drywall
  • Nails
  • Tile
  • Wood

Take these items to a City landfill.

Some materials can go to the Spyhill Landfill for waste diversion.

No electronics

  • Computer monitors
  • CPUs
  • Printers
  • TVs

The City has partnered with industry to provide free drop-off locations for old and unusable electronics.

No garbage or blue recycling bags

Garbage or blue recycling bags

Recyclables need to be loose so they can be sorted by the machines at the recycling facility.

The only exception is to use clear bags for shredded paper and bundle your plastic bags together in one plastic bag.

No houseware items

Houseware items
  • Ceramics
  • Dishes
  • Drinking glasses
  • Garden hoses
  • Light bulbs
  • Mirrors
  • Small appliances
  • Utensils

If these items can be donated, check out What Goes Where to find out where to take them. If they cannot be donated, put in the garbage.

No toys, sporting goods, shoes or clothing

Toys-Sporting Goods-Shoes-Apparel

If these items can be donated, check out What Goes Where to find out where to take them. If they cannot be donated, put in the garbage.

No multi-material packaging

Multi-material packaging

Place these items in your garbage.

  • Deodorant sticks
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Foil from yogurt containers
  • Frozen juice containers
  • Items made from more than one type of material, for example paper and plastic.
  • Single-serve coffee packages.

Check What Goes Where for other disposal options.

No food or yard waste

Food or yard waste

All food and yard waste can be composted in your green cart.

Grass clippings can go on the lawn.

No miscellaneous plastics, even if they have a recycling symbol.

Miscellaneous plastics with recycling symbol
  • Forks and spoons
  • Laundry baskets
  • Pens
  • Plastic knives
  • Straws
  • Coffee cup lids and fountain pop lids

These items go in the garbage.

No dirty items

Recycable items must be cleaned

Materials need to be free of food, liquids and other residue.

Tip: After you've finished washing the dishes in the sink, rinse out your recyclables with the same water.