Single stream recycling has made recycling easier than ever for residents of Brazos Valley. Through our single stream collection and processing system, we’re able to accept more recyclable materials than ever before, including plastics 1-7 rather than simply plastics 1 and 2. However, you do still want to be careful not to cross contaminate recycling with other forms of trash. It’s always a good idea to know exactly what to do and what not to do when it comes to recycling.

DO Ensure That Food Containers Are Empty and Cleaned

Food residue can get into the rest of your recycling collection, contaminating the whole batch so that none of it can be sent back for reuse. It’s important when recycling to make sure any food and beverage containers are completely emptied before they’re tossed and cleaned out. Pizza boxes can be particularly problematic, because the grease from pizza seeps into the cardboard, contaminating the entire box and possibly any other recyclables that touch it.

DON’T Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

It’s true that with single stream recycling, all types of plastic are acceptable materials, but it’s also true that you just don’t have to recycle plastic shopping bags. As long as they still hold their shape, you can reuse them yourself, saving you from acquiring more the next time you go shopping. Designate a basket in your home to be your plastic bag storage, or simply stuff plastic bags inside of each other and hang them on a door knob, ready to reuse whenever you need a bag.

DO Check the List of Acceptable Materials

Every recycling service has a list of materials that they accept, and it might not be the same for every company. It’s always important to check the list, even if you think you know what can be recycled. In the best case scenario, you’ll find that there’s more that can be recycled than you originally thought. In the worst case, you’ll know that something can’t be recycled before you throw it in the bin.

DON’T Recycle Hazardous Materials

Medical waste like syringes or prescription drugs can be potentially hazardous in your recycling bin, not only contaminating the other recyclables but potentially making it dangerous for those who handle your recycling. Any cleaning fluid, chemicals, or oil based paint should also be kept away from your recycling bin. You may be able to find organizations who will take back prescription drugs, cleaning chemicals, and even oil based paint so that you don’t have to throw it in the garbage.

Finally, if you live in Brazos Valley, DO sign up for complimentary recycling with your monthly trash pick-up subscription. For a monthly payment of $21.95, you get not only weekly curbside trash pick-up but a large recycling bin thrown in for free. Want to learn more? Contact Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling today for more information or to set up your subscription.