Confused about what you can stick in that single-stream recycling bin, Philly? We made a handy guide of do’s & don’ts for you based on the Philadelphia Streets Department guidelines.
This guide doesn’t cover every consumer product but should give you an idea. We also cover a lot of the harder recycling questions in our Where Can I Wednesday column.) Find out where to get a FREE recycling bin in Philadelphia.
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Created by Samantha Wittchen, iSpring
Philadelphia Recycling Do’s:
- Orange juice cartons
- Milk cartons
- Juice boxes
- Soup boxes
- Ice cream cartons
- Egg Cartons
- Pie tins
- tin and aluminum cans
- empty aerosol cans
- empty paint cans
- Jars and bottles
- Mail (junk and personal) & Flyers
- Phone books
- ALL books (including hardback books
- Food boxes (remove plastic liner)
- Computer paper
- Wrapping paper (no plastic wrap)
- Soda and beer cartons (no food-soiled paper, please!)
The majority of your household Plastic Containers are recyclable in your single-stream curbside recycling bin:
#1 – PET (Polyethylene): Soda and water bottles, condiment and peanut butter jars, etc.
#2 – HDPE (High Density Polyethylene): Milk, water and juice jugs, detergents, shampoo bottles, dairy product containers, flower pots, some household cleaners
#3 – PVC – (Polyvinyl Chloride): Rigid plastic containers and juice bottles, Charcoal lighter, mineral water, cooking oil bottles, etc.
#4 – LDPE – (Low Density Polyethylene): Plastic tubs and lids from butter, margarine or similar products, Fabric softener bottles, lotion & sunscreen containers, etc
#5 – PP (Polypropylene): Yogurt containers and deli trays
#6 – PS (Polystyrene): Plastic cups, plates and to-go containers (clear, rigid #6 only, NOT Styrofoam* products)
#7 – (Other plastic): Many mixed plastic containers and plastic products like ketchup squeeze bottles, syrup bottles, microwave containers
You can also download the Plastics Recycling Fact Sheet for more info.
- Empty and flattened
Philadelphia Recycling Don’ts:
- Aluminum foil, pots & pans, paper clips
- Light bulbs, window glass
- Tissues, paper towels, napkins, wax-coated cups or containers, food-soiled paper, file folders
- Plastic bags, PVC pipe, packing inserts or “peanuts”, medical plastics, including IV tubing, sharps, and syringes. Please refer to proper disposal guidelines from your medical service providers.
- Styrofoam*, chemicals, rubber, wood, and ceramic or porcelain plates or cups containers
*Note: Styrofoam CAN be recycled if you take it to the Streets Department Northeast Philadelphia Drop-Off Center at State Road & Ashburner Street, Philadelphia PA.