How we can help recycle in our community

Published on November 15, 2021

Each of us can do our part to make sure that we continue to recycle, gain knowledge and educate one another on the benefits of recycling. According to “National Geographic,” Americans send 64 tons of waste to landfills during their lifetime. That’s 246 million tons of waste each year. Everyone can help by recycling at home, work or school and buying products made with recycled content.


Recycling benefits

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries

Below is a list of acceptable recycled materials.

Paper (clean, dry and unsoiled)

  • Bags (paper only, no plastic)
  • Cardboard
  • Catalogs, magazines, envelopes and junk mail
  • Computer and office paper 
  • Egg cartons (cardboard)
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Newspapers
  • Packing or craft paper
  • Phonebooks and softcover books
  • Shredded paper 
  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic and glitter-free only)

Glass (clean and dry):

  • Glass bottles and jars only (metal caps and lids too)

Plastic (clean and dry)

  • Plastic bottles and caps, tubs and containers (such as laundry detergent containers, shampoo bottles and yogurt tubs)
  • Plastic buckets

Metal (no liquids or food)

  • Aluminum cans, foil and trays
  • Caps and lids from bottles, jars and steel/tin cans
  • Paint and aerosol cans (must be empty or dry)
  • Steel (tin) cans

For more information, visit the Recology San Mateo County website.