What to Recycle

Paper and Cardboard


 PAPER AND CARDBOARD

 How to Prepare


DO NOT INCLUDE
 Newspaper and inserts
Loose or in paper bags (no plastic)
- Plastic bags (recycle at stores—see “plastic film” recycling info below)
- Paper contaminated with food or vegetable oil (to compost)
- Used paper towels, napkins, tissues (to compost)
- Used paper plates (trash if plastic coating; to compost if 100% paper and no plastic coating)
- Paper cups (trash due to plastic coating)
- Paper contaminated w/ paint/debris (trash)
- Ice cream or frozen food coated packaging (trash due to plastic coating)
- Tyvek mailing envelopes or bubble wrap (can be recycled with plastic bags—see “plastic film” info below)
- Waxed cardboard produce boxes (to compost)
 Corrugated cardboard
 Flatten boxes
 Chipboard/cereal/pasta/shoe boxes, file folders, cardboard egg cartons
Flatten boxes; plastic windows OK
Office paper, junk mail, magazines,catalogs, glossy paper, phone books, paper bags
Plastic windows OK; paper bags must be clean and empty
 Pizza boxes
Grease OK, no food/cheese
 Unused paper plates
No grease, no food scraps
 Hard- and soft-cover books
 
 Shredded paper
Loose or in paper bags (not plastic)
 Wrapping paper
No plastics or foils, no ribbons
Paper goods OK with staples, spiral bindings, plastic envelope windows

Commingled Glass, Metal, Plastic


GLASS, METAL, PLASTIC

How to Prepare


DO NOT INCLUDE
ABSOLUTELY NO PLASTIC BAGS (even with recycle symbol) because they tangle and jam sorting equipment; recycle at stores (see “plastic film” recycling info below), or send to trash
Glass bottles (all colors)
Remove metal caps and include in commingled; neck rings OK
- Window glass, light bulbs, drinking glasses, Pyrex (trash)
- Ceramic items (trash)
Metal food cans and lids (steel, tin, aluminum)
Do not flatten, clean, labels OK
- Scrap metal (can damage sorting equipment; send to scrap metal area)
- Aerosol cans if partially full (hazardous waste; if empty, OK to recycle w/ cans)
- Latex paint cans (to trash once paint inside has dried out - pop lid to dry)
Aluminum foil, pie plates, trays
Foil best as 3–4” balls (or larger) for capture by equipment
 
Plastic containers labeled #1 thru #7 Clean plastic plant pots OK
Do not flatten, plastic caps may be left on, neck rings OK
- StyrofoamTM goes to dedicated bin for StyrofoamTM only – see info on page 2
- PLA compostable ware (to compost)
- Latex paint cans (to trash once paint inside has dried out - pop lid to dry)
Gable-top cartons (milk, juice, etc.)
Do not flatten, plastic spout OK

Aseptic rectangular “cartons” such as juice boxes, soy milk, soup stock
Do not flatten  

 Additional Materials Accepted for Recycling


Material

 How to Prepare


  DO NOT INCLUDE

RIGID PLASTIC


   
Rigid plastic objects with no recycle symbol (plastic toys, rigid wading pools, crates, etc.)
Remove batteries from toys, etc. Deposit in Rigid Plastics area
Metal parts or batteries not OK Soft plastics, such as vinyl hoses, inflatable pools (trash)



STYROFOAMTM


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Rigid Styrofoam packing material, Styrofoam coolers
Deposit in dedicated StyrofoamTM bin Must be clean
Food containers (trash - can contaminate load)
StyrofoamTM peanuts
In plastic bag to prevent blowing
Biodegradable/starch peanuts (compost)
 



SCRAP METAL


  DO NOT INCLUDE
 Scrap Metal
Deposit in Scrap Metal area
Wiry material (trash – jams equipment)



FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, tubes See gatehouse attendant
Incandescent bulbs (trash)



BATTERIES


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Button & rechargeable batteries (b/c hazardous contents incl. mercury)
Bring to gatehouse
Alkaline batteries such as AA, AAA (OK to trash)



YARD WASTE, CLEAN WOOD


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Grass, leaves, plants, brush, twigs
Bring loose
Plastic bags
Wood chips, easily raked materials
Bring loose, in bins/buckets to dump
Stumps
Clean wood (to be chipped for mulch)
 No paint or stain, no metal, no pressure-treated, no plywood, maximum 4-ft length
Christmas trees
Remove tinsel from trees
 



E-WASTE


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Electronics (plug-in or battery): computer, printer, scanner, etc.
Check at gatehouse
Batteries must be removed Cell phones go to gatehouse at entrance



DONATION AREA


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Gently used items may be donated to the Transfer Station Swap Shop
Clean, dry, in working condition
See Swap Shop guidelines for accepted items (link on page 1)
Clothing/textiles may be donated to Red Cross or Salvation Army
All clean, dry, odorless textiles accepted: rips, stains OK; shoes, belts, curtains, bedding OK
Mildewed or damp or dirty items
Returnable bottles/cans may be donated to Acton Community Supper
Remove metal caps, add to commingled; neck rings OK
 



CONCRETE, CEMENT, BRICKS, DIRT


   
Concrete, cement, bricks, dirt
Deposit in Concrete/Cement area
 



WASTE OIL


  DO NOT INCLUDE
Used motor oil
Transport in disposable container
Solvents or gasoline



USED ANTIFREEZE


   
Used antifreeze
See gatehouse attendant
 

 UNACCEPTABLE ITEMS
- Chemicals/Solvents: oil paints/stains, pesticides, gasoline, arts & crafts supplies (solvents), photo chemicals, pool chemicals, thinners & solvents, mercury devices, liquid mercury (thermostats/switches)
- Household/Yard Waste: asphalt shingles, asbestos fluorescent fixtures with ballast, pressure- treated lumber, large propane tank, sheetrock, stumps, tires on rims
- Other: medical waste, railroad ties, 55 gallon drums (unless cut in half with ends removed)
 Some items on the “unacceptable” list may be disposed of during Household Hazardous Waste Day. For more info on Household Hazardous Waste Day, see our Hazardous Waste Webpage.

- SEE GATEHOUSE ATTENDANT for these items handled at no charge: button batteries, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, fluorescent light bulbs, sharps, antifreeze, scrap metal; and for these items handled for small fee: monitors & televisions & CRT’s, hard drives, bulky items such as small propane tanks.

- “PLASTIC FILM” RECYCLING: for information and drop-off store locations for recycling plastic grocery bags and other related “plastic film” items (bread bags, produce bags, dry cleaner bags, cereal box liners, plastic packaging on paper towels, ziplock bags, etc.), click here.

Print the Town of Acton What to Recycle Flyer.

Additional Resources