15 Things to Never Put In Your Recycling Bin

Understand what can't go in recycling for waste reduction and sustainable living. This guide explores 15 non-recyclable items to keep out of your blue bin.

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags pose a risk to recycling machines, causing costly jams and damages. Opt for reusing your plastic bags or shopping with reusable cloth bags.

Food Waste

Recycling facilities are not equipped to handle food waste. When food scraps end up in the recycling bin, they can contaminate other materials and attract pests.


Styrofoam/EPS is non-recyclable, taking centuries to degrade. It's ideal to evade Styrofoam-packaged products and choose paper or cardboard instead.


Never dispose of household batteries in recycling bins as they can cause fires. Consult your local waste management facility for the right disposal methods.


Textile recycling is growing, but most curbside programs don't accept clothing. Rather, donate used clothes to thrift stores or find textile recycling drop-offs.

Pizza Boxes

Pizza boxes, often polluted with grease and cheese, are not recyclable. If a small part of the box is clean, tear it off for separate recycling.

Light Bulbs

Fluorescent, CFL, and LED bulbs contain toxic chemicals harmful to recycling facility workers. Contact local waste management for proper disposal methods.

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans can explode when compressed, posing risks in recycling facilities. Check with your local waste management for proper disposal methods.

Electronic Waste

E-waste shouldn't be in recycling bins due to its potentially hazardous composition. Reach out to your local waste facility for correct disposal methods.

Ceramics and Pottery

Glass bottles and jars can be recycled but ceramics and pottery, having different melting points, contaminate the glass-making process. Donate or repurpose them.

Plastic Utensils

Single-use plastic utensils aren't recyclable due to their size & low quality. Use reusable utensils or choose biodegradable ones made from bamboo or wood.

Paper Towels and Napkins

Paper products that have been soiled with food waste are not suitable for recycling. It’s best to compost these items instead.

Garden Hoses

Garden hoses are not recyclable and can get tangled in sorting machinery, causing damage and delays. Consider donating or repurposing old garden hoses instead.

Propane Tanks

Propane tanks are hazardous waste and should never be placed in the recycling bin. Contact your local waste management facility for proper disposal methods.

Medical Waste

Medical waste like syringes and sharps is a health risk to recycling facility staff. Contact your local waste management facility for safe disposal methods.

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