Plastics

How do I dispose of plastics?

Find out how to properly dispose of plastic items (and why) by hovering over the images below.

Plastic Beverage Bottles

Plastic Beverage Bottles

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. You can keep the caps on unless you are recycling these bottles at a buy back center. Examples include water, soda, and juice bottles.

Milk Bottles

Plastic Milk Bottles

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. You can keep the caps on unless you are recycling these bottles at a buy back center.

Laundry Detergent Bottles

Laundry Detergent Bottles

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. You can keep the caps on unless you are recycling these bottles at a buy back center.

Soap Bottles

Soap, Shampoo, and Conditioner Bottles

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. You can keep the caps on unless you are recycling these bottles at a buy back center.

Plastic Buckets

Plastic Buckets

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. Rigid plastics greater than 6" are still valuable recyclables.

Plastic Tubs

Plastic Crates and Tubs

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. Rigid plastics greater than 6" are still valuable recyclables.

Plastic Flower Pots

Plastic Flower Pots

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. Rigid plastics greater than 6" are still valuable recyclables.

Large Rigid Plastic Toys

Large Rigid Plastic Toys

Recycling

Rigid plastic toys greater than 6" are still valuable recyclables. Please make sure to remove any batteries before recycling the toy. Soft plastic toys and small rigid plastic toys are NOT accepted in the recycling.

Other Large Rigid Plastics

Other Large Rigid Plastics

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. Rigid plastics greater than 6" are still valuable recyclables.

Empty Pill Bottles

Empty Pill Bottles

Trash

If the empty pill bottle is smaller than 6" is should be placed in the trash. If you wish to dispose of unwanted medication, please refer to this page for more information.

CD & DVD Cases

CD & DVD Cases

Trash

These plastic cases are not rigid enough for recyclers, and they are often comprised of mixed plastics. Try to donate CDs & DVDs, along with their cases, prior to disposing of them.

Plastic Bags

Plastic Bags

Trash

Plastic bags and other film plastics (plastic that easily crumples in your hand) are easily contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash. Please do NOT use a plastic bag to contain your recyclables!

Snack Wrappers

Snack Wrappers

Trash

Snack wrappers are a type of film plastic (plastic that easily crumples in your hand) that are easily contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash. Examples include candy, cookie, and chip wrappers.

Plastic Food Cups

Plastic Food Cups/Lids

Trash

These low-grade food plastics have a long history of being contaminated with food and liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers, regardless of size. If you can't avoid using this packaging altogether, then try to reuse them before throwing them away. Examples include yogurt, salsa, sour cream, and cream cheese.

Plastic Clam Shells

Plastic Clam Shells

Trash

These low-grade food plastics have a long history of being contaminated with food and liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers. If you can't avoid using this packaging altogether, then try to reuse them before throwing them away.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam

Trash

Expanded Polystyrene foam, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, is extremely difficult to recycle from a curbside collection program because it is lightweight and easily breaks apart. Place Styrofoam in your trash unless you are able to drop it off at one of our recycling centers.

Cold Beverage Cups

Cold Beverage Cups

Trash

These low-grade plastics have a long history of being contaminated with liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers, regardless of size. Reusable cups are the best option.

Plastic Labeled

"Compostable" or "Biodegradable" Plastic

Trash

Polylactic acid (PLA) plastics must be composted at industrial composting facilities, which you do not have access to through curbside collection. Place these in your trash.

[Photo credit: "I am not a plastic cup" by aaron.bihari / CC BY-SA]

Plastic Cup Lids

Plastic Cup Lids

Trash

These lids are too flimsy to be worthwhile for recyclers. Reusable cups are the best option.

Plastic Cutlery

Plastic Cutlery

Trash

This cutlery is too small and weak to be worthwhile for recyclers. Switch to reusables, and be sure to keep a reusable travel set for carry out orders on the go.

Tapes

Tapes

Trash

Tapes are comprised of different types of plastics, so they are nearly impossible to recycle.

Printer Cartridges

Printer Cartridges

*Drop Off at Recycling Center*

MUST BE COMPLETELY EMPTY. Printer cartridges are comprised of different types of plastics, so in order to be recycled, drop them off at our Downtown or Goleta recycling centers.