Thursday, 12 May 2016 08:37

Plastic Recycling

#1 PET Thermoform Containers: *** NEW ***

#1 PET Thermoform Containers include clamshells, cups, trays, fast food containers, tubs, & lids.

*** VERIFY *** That the container is a #1 PET ***PLEASE RINSE CONTAINER ***

#1 and #2 Plastic Bottles:

#1 and #2 BOTTLES can be recycled. Always check bottles for the recycling symbol. If there is any other number on the bottle it can NOT be recycled. If in doubt-throw it out.

Please rinse out bottles before recycling. Caps and labels can remain on the bottle.


Common #1 Plastic Bottle Examples:

  • Soda Bottles
  • Water Bottles
  • Peanut Butter Jars
  • Salad Dressing Bottles
  • Vitamin Bottles (SOME, NOT ALL)






Common #2 Plastic Bottle Examples:

  • Milk Jugs
  • Laundry Soap Bottles
  • Shampoo and Conditioner Bottles
  • Over-the-Counter Medicine Bottles (SOME, NOT ALL)






Items that are NOT accepted:

Ice Cream Tubs, Plastic Bags, Zip-Lock Bags, Six-Pack Holders, Plastic Buckets, Flower Pots, Gas Cans, Plastic Toys, Etc.

No Motor Oil Bottles: Motor Oil creates a residue which contaminates the bottle.


Why CAN’T I recycle any plastic container with a #1 or #2 on it?

You go to the grocery store. You buy a tub of ice cream and look at the bottom of the package. It has a #2 HDPE stamped on it. Great! So, you bring it to the recycling center and we tell you that we can’t recycle it. You are surprised, you point out the #2 on the bottom….so, what gives?

The vast majority of the plastics recycling market in the U.S. – over 90 percent - is #1 and #2 plastic bottles. Unfortunately, with virtually every plastic marked with the type of resin it is made from, the lines are definitely blurred for the general public.

Rigid plastics (what the industry calls these types of containers) are increasingly becoming a significant enough waste stream. Big enough, in fact, that manufacturers and recyclers are considering its potential as a large-scale recycling commodity. But that hasn’t happened yet. And until it does, and we have access to that market, we can’t accept any #1 or #2 container that isn’t a bottle.

And what about the rest of the numbers…….?

As time goes on we are seeing more and more bottles that are made of resins other than #1 and #2. And this means the potential for contamination. One of the biggest culprits are clear orange juice containers with a molded handle. They look like #1 but are a #7.

Always check the container for any item you’re not quite sure about. Also, take some time and look at all the unacceptable plastics that we have displayed at the center. And if you have a question about anything, don’t hesitate to ask. We are all learning and will continue to do so!

# 5 Plastic Recycling

All brands of clean #5 stamped plastic containers can be recycled.

Recycling Conditions:

  • Verify that the container is a #5 plastic
  • Check the lids, most times they are not a #5 plastic and need to be thrown out
  • Wash all containers before bringing them in for recycling
  • Remove any paper labels if possible
  • Keep separate from #1 and #2 plastics

So, what kinds of #5 plastic can be recycled? Most yogurt, butter, sour cream, and cottage cheese containers are #5 plastic. In addition, these items may include spice jars, Ensure bottles, pancake syrup bottles, fruit jars, medicine bottles, and Cascade containers.


Now, let’s talk about the lids. A #5 plastic container doesn’t necessarily have a #5 lid. A lot of containers might be marked #5 but the lid is either a #2 plastic or a #4 plastic. If you are going to take the time to separate out this plastic for recycling please go the extra step and make certain the lids are marked #5 as well. Sometimes the #5 symbol can be found along the outer edge of the inside of the lid.


Lastly, let’s talk about clean. Think of it this way: left over cottage cheese, yogurt, or dip doesn’t smell very good after being sealed in the container for a few weeks. Sometimes, when sorting through these items prior to packing them, we open them to make certain the lid is the correct plastic. It’s not a pretty sight!!! Nor is it a pretty smell. So, again, if you are going to take the time to bring these types of plastics to us, make certain they are marked with a #5 symbol and that they are clean.

Read 11883 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 December 2019 18:23


Elk County Courthouse
250 Main Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853

Elk County Courthouse Annex
300 Center Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853