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What To Recycle For Schools

Paper & Cardboard

Paper—“If you can tear it, recycle it”:

  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogs
  • White and colored paper (including lined, copier, and computer paper; staples are acceptable)
  • Mail and envelopes (any color; window envelopes are acceptable)
  • Paper bags (cloth or plastic handles are acceptable)
  • Wrapping paper
  • Soft-cover books, telephone books (such as paperbacks and comics; no spiral bindings) — refer to "Book Recycling" procedures on DOE’s Waste & Recycling Resources)


  • Smooth cardboard (such as food and shoe boxes, tubes, file folders, and cardboard from product packaging)
  • Cardboard egg cartons and trays
  • Pizza boxes: remove and discard soiled liner; recycle plastic supporter in your blue bin
  • Paper cups (waxy lining is acceptable if the cups are empty and clean; plastic lids go in the blue bin)
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes, flattened

Not Accepted:

  • Paper with heavy wax or plastic coating (such as candy wrappers and take-out containers)
  • Soiled or soft paper (tissues, napkins, paper towels)
  • Hardcover books (refer to "Book Recycling" procedures on DOE’s Waste & Recycling Resources)

Metal, Glass, Plastic & Cartons

Empty and rinse containers before recycling.


  • Metal cans (including soda, soup, and sauce cans, empty aerosol cans, dried-out paint cans)
  • Aluminum foil wrap and trays
  • Metal caps and lids
  • Household metal (such as wire hangers, scissors, staplers, pots, tools, curtain rods, knives, small appliances that are mostly metal, and certain vehicle license plates)
  • Bulk metal (such as large metal items such as furniture, cabinets, and large appliances)


  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars

Rigid plastic:

  • Plastic bottles, jugs, and jars
  • Rigid plastic caps and lids
  • Rigid plastic food containers (such as yogurt, deli, or hummus containers; dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, "clamshell" containers, and other plastic take-out containers)
  • Rigid plastic non-food containers
  • Rigid plastic packaging (such as “blister-pack” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • Rigid plastic housewares (such as bowls, flower pots, and plastic appliances)
  • Bulk rigid plastic (such as crates, buckets, pails, furniture, and large toys)


  • Food and beverage cartons (such as cartons for milk, juice, and soup)
  • Drink boxes
  • Aseptic packaging

Not Accepted:

  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags, wrappers, pouches, squeeze tubes, foam plastics