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Plastics 3-7 by warrenski at http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenski/2528340355/

Plastics Recycling

Most hard plastics #3 - #7 can be recycled in your commingled recycling container at your home, business, apartment or school.

You can also recycle them at the locations below.

Even though these plastics are less common than plastics #1 and #2, they're still recyclable at home. That being said, some important exceptions are listed below.

  • #3 - PVC

  • #4 - LDPE

  • #5 - PP

    • Full Name: Polypropylene
    • Semi-rigid, low gloss, usually solid white or colored
    • Wet suits are often made out of "Poly-pro", but they are not recyclable in your blue bin. Read how to reuse wetsuits.
    • Yogurt containers and ketchup bottles
    • Drinking straws and other containers
  • #6 - PS

    • Full Name: Polystyrene
    • Often brittle and glossy
    • Polystyrene foam also know as the trademarked Styrofoam is not recyclable in your blue bin. This is true even if it has #6 and the recycling symbol on it. Read how to reuse styrofoam.
    • Plastic cups and plates
    • CD cases and empty medicine bottles
  • #7 - Other

    • These plastics are often specially made and contain many types of individual plastics. Even these are recyclable in your blue bin.
    • Tupperware and reusable drinking bottles
    • 3- and 5-gallon water bottles and juice bottles

What plastics aren't recyclable?

Plastic pipes, styrofoam, and compostable plastics are not recyclable. Also, electronics made of plastic and CDs, DVDs and floppy disks are not recyclable in your blue bin.

What about hard plastic without a number?

Most of these would be classified as #7, so throw them into your recycling bin.

How clean should my plastic containers be?

Fairly clean is good; free of residue is best. This is primarily to protect paper in your recycling bin from being contaminated. However, it's important for the plastic as well.

Do I need to remove the caps?

Don't worry about it. Even though plastic containers often have plastic tops that are different in color or are made from a different plastic type, they can be recycled together.

What about plastic bags?

Plastic bags, mainly #2 and #4, are are now recyclable in your blue bin! This just changed in July 2011. Just as with all plastic, cleaner is better. Read how to properly recycle plastic bags.

What about compostable or biodegradable plastic?

Compostable plastic is not recyclable. It is designed to be composted at commercial composting facilities. For most areas in the county, compostable plastic is considered trash; however, if you compost at home and have a hot pile, you can try discarding the compostable plastic there.

How do I get the CRV?

The California Redemption Value is available for beverage containers. Some of the sites below are buyback centers, but not all of them. Check out our CRV Page for details, but if you see "California Redemption Value" on a location listed below, it should be a buyback center. Redeem away!

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