What should be recycled?

What You Can Recycle In Delaware County

How Kids Can Recycle in Delaware County

How it Should be Prepared for Recycling

This first section is devoted to what items can be recycled curbside followed by other hard to recycle items.  Listed below are items that can be recycled curbside.  However, first check with your municipality to see what items they collect Curbside.  Most municipalities now collect all and allow you to place everything in one container.  This is known of as Single Stream Recycling. 

Other municipalities want you to place all your bottles and cans in one container while placing cardboard and paper next to your bin for collection in the same vehicle.  This is known of as Co-mingled Recycling.  There are only a few municipalities left that want you to separate your items.  This is known of as Source Separated Recycling.

There seems to be some confusion as to exactly what can and cannot be recycled as well as how items should be prepared.  The list below may not represent the items your community recycles; however, the way it should be prepared is consistent.


Recyclable – All aluminum beer and soda cans are presently accepted at participating curbside and drop off locations.

Non-recyclable – Aluminum trays, pie tins, ice cube trays, aluminum siding, storm doors, windows and gutters, lawn furniture are currently not accepted at participating curbside or drop off locations. 

Hint – If a magnet does not stick to the side of the can, it’s made from aluminum.

Bimetallic Cans

Recyclable – Soup, tuna, and cat food cans just to name a few can be recycled in your participating curbside program.

Hint – If a magnet sticks to the side of the can it’s a bimetallic can.


Recyclable – Glass containers (clear, amber or brown, and green)

Non-recyclable– Milk white glass, pottery, plate glass, mirrors, light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, crystal, ceramics, plate glass.

How to Prepare for recycling – Rinse all bottles and jars.  Labels can stay on.  Always remove metal caps.  (If your municipality co-mingles ~ simply remove the lid and place it in the same recycling container.)   If required by your municipality, separate by color.  Store all glass intact – do not break.


Recyclable – Newsprint, office paper, junk mail, catalogs, magazines

Non-recyclable– Waxed or plastic coated paper

How to Prepare for recycling – Keep clean and dry.  No need to remove cellophane window. Some municipalities prefer you stack paper and tie with twine or pack in paper bags (please do not place in plastic grocery bags) and place next to your recycling bin.  Other municipalities allow you to mix paper with other recyclables in one container.  This is called Single Stream Recycling.  Check with your municipality.


Recyclable – Shipping boxes, food preparation boxes such as cereal, crackers and packing cardboard.

Non-Recyclable – Wax coated boxes; e.g. boxes holding produce.


Plastics #1 & #2
Recyclable – HPDE #1 and #2, PET #1 and #2.   The Plastics Council advises, the way to identify bottles that can and should be recycled is simple.  Any bottle whose neck is smaller that the bottom can be recycled all others should be discarded with your household trash. 

Plastics #3 thru #7
Currently, Plastic #3-#7 food containers are accepted in some municipalities.  Please check prior to recycling.

Non-Recyclable– Plastic Shopping Bags are not accepted in any curbside recycling program.  However, they can be recycled at your local supermarket. Look for a bin right inside their door.  You can also recycle dry cleaners and circular bags.

How to Prepare for recycling – Rinse all containers, labels can stay.  Remove all lids.  This will allow for plastic to be crushed as the first step in its recycling process.

In Delaware County, NO curbside program currently accepts Styrofoam, plastic toys, furniture or gadgets.                     

Listed below are some items you can recycle nearby.

Batteries – NiCad, Lithium, Button and Rechargeable
Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Depot, Pep Boys and Verizon Wireless.  If you a business that generates a large amount of these types of batteries, request a free postage paid box from http://www.call2recycle.org/

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
CFLs can be recycled at any Home Depot or Lowe’s.  Look for their container either near their front door or Customer Returns Counter.

Plastic Pots
Seasonally, Lowe’s accepts those black plastic pots plants and shrubs come in.

Plastic Shopping Bags
Most food stores have a container inside their front door as does Kohl’s and Boscov’s.  You can also place dry cleaner’s and circular plastic bags in these containers.

Recycling Kiosks
Many Department chains offer Recycling Kiosks inside their front door or near their Customer Service Department.  Make a point of checking them out.  Typical items recycled at these Kiosks include:  Rechargeable and Ni-Cad batteries, ink and toner cartridges, used gift cards, CDs and DVDs, and plastic shopping bags, just to name a few.

Best Buy’s Recycling Kiosk accepts: Cables and Connectors; CD/DVD Jewel Cases; Inkjet and Toner Cartridges; Battery Backups; Laptop and Rechargeable Batteries. For more information, please visit: https://www.bestbuy.com/recycle

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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