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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

As a Pacifica renter, you may be contemplating ways to help you live more sustainably. For a lot of individuals, sustainable living begins with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these things can be recycled. Just because a certain item is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard does not mean that it is recyclable. And placing non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is a huge waste of your time as well as that of the processing center. Here are some things that may help you recycle the right way.


To know which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, the professionals suggest going by container shape. A usual rule would be that plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just be sure to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

But mind you, the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is kind of long, so don’t let it surprise you. To cite a few examples, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable. However, plastic food containers and water bottles usually are. Some other objects that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

To add, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other forms of the plastic wrap should not be placed in your recycling center. These things typically clog up the machines, and they’d eventually end up in the landfill. So instead, these materials are usually recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag may be the cause of issues at the processing center.


Recycling glass can be more complicated than a lot of people think, mainly because processing centers don’t take in some types of glass. In certain places, the centers don’t allow any glass at all. While others will only take in a certain kind of glass. Be certain to check the rules at your local processing center prior to putting glass items in the bin.

However, there are specific classes of glass that are just not recyclable at all. A few examples would be windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other means.


The same as glass, not all processing centers accept metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items that you wish to recycle, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. Many regular processing centers will not take in metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

In the same way, old televisions and electronics cannot be plainly sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these things can be more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to find a local electronics shop that will allow your old electronics. Some companies will take in certain old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not wanted anymore.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

A lot of cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers allow newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are typically fine, but it depends on what materials your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to remember that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (some oil is fine), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and some types of paper are also not recyclable, so you would need to separate your paper items carefully prior to putting them in the trash bin.


By recycling correctly, you can do a lot to help your community as a renter. However, if your neighborhood is not able to support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Mid Peninsula can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 650-696-1800.

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