What Can You Put in the Recycling Bin?

The advantages of recycling are widely being publicized, and more so lately. However, the fact is there still are many, many people who do not recycle at all. Some people are just simply lazy and throw everything right in their trash can and allow the trash helpers to take that away. There are also some that do not know much about recycling and maybe having such questions running in their minds like why do you need a recycling bin, what can you put in the recycling bin and what you can’t. If you are one amongst those then continue reading and discover the answers to all your questions.

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what to put in a recycling bin

Why buy a recycling bin?

Even before we get to learn about those items that we can throw and not throw in the recycling bin, let us first get to know why we need such a bin at all.

1. There will be less trash

If you recycle at least some of the items that you would otherwise throw in the trash can then you would be left with less amount of trash. But how would that help? Well, you would need to carry fewer loads to the dumpster, and will not have to worry about whether or not your trash will find space in the bin that day. When you know what the items that you can recycle are, then you can separate those that you cannot, and only dump them in the trash can.

2. It saves energy

When a recycling bin is used then manufacturers will not need to design new products using raw materials. Recycled materials can be used and they can prove to be immensely beneficial. Firstly, it will limit the consumption of already limited natural resources like metals and oil. Secondly, when recycled materials are used the production costs go down and then the consumers will be able to enjoy lower product costs.

3. Prevents wildlife extinction

Humans understand the way they are impacting the environment, but sadly they do nothing at all about this. Recycling can be a simple yet great step that everyone can take towards preserving the environment but sadly people are not aware of its benefits. If everyone uses recycling bins to just recycling paper that alone can save so many trees. Since trees will be saved there will not be much needed for logging, and this, in turn, will save so many animals from going extinct. Also, recycling lessens the greenhouse gas emission and this is great for the environment.

These are just some of the advantages, and there is a lot more that you can enjoy if you use recycling bins.

Tip: Also read our blog post: “Top 8: Best Stackable Recycling Bins for Home

What can you put in the recycling bin?

Now that you are aware of some of the benefits of using a recycling bin let us get to learn about those items that you can put in the bin.

Recyclable Paper

Newspapers and magazines can be dumped in the bin but they should be lose and not stringed bundles. Scrap paper like toilet paper rolls, phone books, bagged shredded paper, junk mail, and catalogs can also be thrown.

Food boxes including cardboard egg cartons, cereal boxes, juice and milk cartons, broth and soup cartons that need no refrigeration can find a place in your recycling bin. Furthermore, you can throw cards and wrapping paper that has no glitter, foil or plastic coating, brown paper bags with strings and corrugated cardboard.

Recyclable Metal

Different types of metal that you can throw in your recyclable bin includes aluminum cans, food trays, and clean foil, empty aerosol cans, and tin and steel food cans. You can also throw metal dry paint cans that have a maximum one-inch paint. Also, your recycling bin is fit for scrap metal and small metal items like bottle caps, and metal items that weigh no more than 30 pounds and are no bigger than 30-inches.

Recyclable Plastic

Plastic is recyclable, but not all. You can safely throw in tubs including salsa, yogurt, dip and sour cream containers without lids, rinsed, and they should be at least 6 ounces or bigger. Jars and jugs like peanut butter jars and milk jugs can also find space but they too should not have lids and must be rinsed.

Bottles that are 6 ounces or bigger, without necks, can be dropped in the recycling bins and also can buckets that are smaller or equal to 5 gallons as well as rigid plant pots that are more than 4-inch in size.


What not to put in the recycling bin?

There are quite a few items that you cannot add to your recycling bin and we shall learn about some of them right away.

Pizza Boxes

An unused pizza box can go into your recycling bin (but why would you do so?) but the one that has cheese and grease spots should not be allowed. As the paper fibers cannot be separated from the oils during recycling, throwing them in the bin is not a good idea.

Foamed Polystyrene

Be it the packaging molds that keep your latest purchases safe or the disposable cups and plates, you cannot throw them in the recycling bin. Such foamed products need a different type of handling. You can instead send them to landfill.


Glass cups can be recycled but the ceramic ones cannot. As ceramic is not organic it is not possible to compost it. So, next time you have ceramic cups, coffee mugs or pots that you do not need, do not just throw them in the recycling bin but donate them if they are not broken or chipped.

Light Bulbs

Yes, they are made of glass but you still cannot throw them in your recycling bin. Light bulbs have toxic chemicals and so you cannot even dump them in the trash. Whenever you need to get rid of your light bulbs make sure you find the right place to dispose of them.

Glass Baking Dishes

Glass baking dishes are treated specifically to withstand high temperatures of an oven, and so they will not even melt during the recycling procedure. If you break such dishes it will be best to wrap them in old towels and plastic bags and throw them in the normal trash can.

To Conclude

Recycling indeed is important and helpful and so must not be avoided. However, just recycling is not enough, you also need to be aware of what items can find a place in your recycling bin and what cannot. And now that you are aware of it, you can start with the recycling process without delay, and lend a helping hand towards preserving the environment, and also enjoy the other benefits that recycling ensures.


I'm Wayne, owner of Bestgarbagedisposalunits.com. I'm a father of 2. I love reviewing products and showcasing the very best in my best of review lists. I want people to make an informative decision by going through these reviews before purchasing their selected products.

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