What's Recyclable?

Recyclables are not garbage; they are commodities we must sell to be made into new products. Dirty materials cannot be sold and will become trash. Make sure recyclables are clean and free of liquids and food. Please follow all directions and include only those items listed below.


Examples of Accepted Material

Accepted Material

NOT Accepted

Glass Bottles
& Jars

  • clear & colored food or beverage glass
  • wash clean
  • remove lids & recycle (if metal)
  • labels are OK
  • dishes
  • ceramics
  • light bulbs
  • mirrors
  • window panes
  • auto glass
  • other non-food or non-beverage glass


  • flatten
  • no plastic-coated paperboard that held liquid (e.g. milk cartons)
  • remove from plastic bags
  • milk or juice cartons
  • paper plates


  • flatten boxes
  • remove large staples & plastic wrap
  • tape & labels are OK
  • must be clean
  • DO NOT bundle or tie together
  • boxes with glued-in foam or plastic packing
  • boxes with heavy stapes
  • boxes with metal or plastic strapping

Newspaper & Phonebook

  • remove plastic strapping, rubber bands and plastic bags
  • remove plastic bags & rubber bands

Magazines & Catalogs

  • remove from plastic bags
  • bound books
  • magazines wrapped in plastic bags

Plastic Shopping Bags

  • must be empty, clean & dry
  • must be stamped:

    This is the only type of bag we are able to recycle.

  • Do not include any other type of bag that is not stamped with:

Mail & Office Paper

  • put shredded paper in a clear plastic bag
  • staples are OK
  • plastic windows in envelopes are OK
  • pet food bags
  • wrapping paper
  • tissue paper
  • tissue, napkins
  • paper towels
  • waxed paper
  • food-coated or wet paper


  • bottles containing auto fluids or hazardous materials
  • styrofoam or any type of foam (cups, plates, packing peanuts, packing materials, insulation)
  • plastic film and other non-rigid plastic (no garbage bags, zip bags, dry cleaner bags, etc.)
  • no bulky plastics (no pools or pool covers, no toys, no piping, no tarps or sheets of plastic)

Metal Cans & Foil

  • wash clean
  • labels are OK
  • aerosol cans must be empty - throw away cap & nozzle
  • bakeware, utensils, pots & pans
  • hanger
  • car parts
  • scrap metal
  • fencing
  • propane cylinders or any other compressed gas cylinder
  • foil backed paper, gum wrappers, foil wrapping paper
  • lawn furniture
  • siding, window/door frames or any construction material

Unacceptable Items - Do Not Include!

  • electronics
  • plastic caps & lids - we cannot capture these small items on our conveyor belts
  • Styrofoam plates, cups, take-out boxes, egg cartons, packing peanuts - even if they are marked with a #6, foam of any kind is not accepted for recycling as it is not compatible with the other plastics and cannot be kept adequately clean in our system
  • foam packing material
  • batteries
  • scrap metal - contact a scrap metal dealer in the Yellow Pages
  • tools, screws or hardware - contact a scrap metal dealer in the Yellow Pages
  • propane or helium tanks - accepted for a fee at North Kent Transfer Station and South Kent Landfill
  • paint cans - contact a scrap metal dealer if cans are empty
  • pots, pans or silverware - contact a scrap metal dealer
  • ceramics - ceramics are not compatible with glass used to make bottles & jars
  • dishes, paper plates & napkins
  • windows, doors or mirrors - this type of glass is oversized and is not compatible with glass used to make bottles & jars
  • paper cartons & juice boxes - these containers are coated with plastic and/or metal which cannot be separated
  • label or sticker paper - paper is coated in plastic that cannot be removed
  • plastic-coated or waxy paper - plastic or wax cannot be removed from the paper
  • spiral-bound notebooks - metal binding is not recyclable with the paper
  • books - the glue or fabric binding on books cannot be mixed with the paper
  • pet food bags - bags are lined with plastic that cannot be separated
  • glitter, ribbon or embellishments
  • photographs
  • greasy or dirty paper
  • hazardous substance containers (that once held antifreeze, motor oil, etc.) - these cannot be adequately cleaned without harming the environment (pouring the substance on the ground or down the drain)

When in Doubt Throw it Out!

Before you try to recycle an item not specifically addressed on this page, call our office at (616) 336-2467 to determine if the item can be recycled.

Including materials that are not listed can make the recyclable material unusable. For example, broken window glass thrown in with the other clear glass bottles and jars ruins the whole load. Manufacturers cannot process different types of glass together and there is no way to sort out window glass from container glass.

Do not take a chance on ruining valuable materials. When in doubt, throw it out!


Computers & accessories (keyboard, mouse, etc.), monitors, televisions, printers/plotters, fax machine, scanners, VCR, DVD, video game machines (Play Station, Game Boy), microwave, audio equipment, video camera, digital camera, networking gear, cordless telephone.

Electronic devices can be dropped off at the North Kent Transfer Station, the South Kent Landfill and the Kent County Recycling & Education Center during normal business hours. This program is free of charge for Kent County residents.

Individuals may also drop off working electronics and non-working computers at a local Goodwill donation center.