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Home > Recycle > Plastics #3 - #7 Recycling (no Styrofoam)
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 (with some exceptions noted in the list below).

  • #3 - PVC

  • #4 - LDPE

    • Full Name: Low Density Polyethylene
    • Flexible, not crinkly
    • Examples: squeezable bottles such as honey or mustard containers
    • Exceptions: Many plastic bags are #4. They are not recyclable in your blue bin but can be taken back to the grocery store if clean. Read how to properly recycle plastic bags.
  • #5 - PP

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

    • Full Name: Polystyrene
    • Often brittle and glossy
    • Examples: plastic cups and plates, CD cases, and empty medicine bottles
    • Exceptions: Polystyrene foam (also known 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.
  • #7 - Other

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

What plastics aren't recyclable?

Plastic pipes, Styrofoam, and compostable plastics are not recyclable. Also, electronics made of plastic, CDs, DVDs and floppy disks, and plastic bags 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 not recyclable in your blue bin. Please click here for more information about recycling 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!

Where to go

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