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What Can I Recycle?


Wondering what can—and can not—be recycled?
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Every recycling cart has an image imprinted on its lid that shows the basic items accepted for collection (to see a copy of this image click here.)

Our handy, free mobile app contains a database of thousands of items so you can quickly find out how to recycle, dispose or compost something!  www.my-waste.mobi/FrederickMD

Use the following links to download/print: a list of recyclable and nonrecyclable items, a detailed fact sheet on plastics, and ways to "recycle right".

Please note the curbside, single-stream recycling program is for common residential, household materials and packaging - NOT for scrap or large items such as window glass, mirrors, scrap metal objects, large plastic items, etc.


Recyclable at the Curb, Mixed Together:
  -  Magazines and catalogs, junk mail and envelopes
  -  Newspapers (including all inserts)
  -  Greeting cards without glitter and foil
  -  Non-metallic wrapping paper
  -  Clean paper products—colored and white (such as typing, fax, copy, letterhead, file folders, cardstock, etc.)
  -  Shredded paper (gather and place inside a paper bag or cardboard box)
  -  Brown paper bags
  -  Paperboard boxes (such as cracker and cereal boxes without liners)
  -  Corrugated cardboard (boxes do not have to be broken down or bundled)
  -  Books (including paperbacks, hardbacks and telephone books)
  -  Paper or plastic milk and juice jugs/cartons
  -  Tetra Packs—such as soy/rice milk cartons and juice boxes  (not juice pouches)
  -  Plastic bags marked with recycling code #2 or #4, such as grocery bags (gather and place inside a single bag)
  -  Empty plastic containers, including narrow-neck bottles (such as water or soda bottles) and wide-mouth containers such as -
     peanut butter, margarine tubs, yogurt, mayonnaise, prescription bottles, etc. (lids may be left on; containers must be empty)
  -  Glass food and beverage containers such as jars and bottles (lids may be left on; containers must be empty)
  -  Tin and steel food and beverage containers, such as pet food and vegetable cans
  -  Aluminum food and beverage containers (such as soda cans). “tin” foil and clean aluminum pie pans
  -  Empty aerosol cans

Items NOT Accepted for Curbside Recycling Include:
  -  Bagged recyclables! (Except for shredded paper or recyclable bags: only these items can be collected in bags.)
  -  Trash bags of any kind
  -  Low-grade paper, such as tissues and napkins/paper towels (even if “clean”!)
  -  Soiled paper products (such as used paper plates or greasy pizza boxes)
  -  Waxed paper or boxes. (Run a fingernail across the surface, if wax comes off it is not recyclable. If it’s only glossy, not
     waxed, it is recyclable.)
  -  Metallic or glittery wrapping paper or cards
  -  Potato chip/ snack food bags, plastic or foil candy and food wrappers
  -  Bubble wrap
  -  Juice pouches
  -  Microwaveable disposable meal trays
  -  Thin, brittle plastics (like “clamshell” packaging from salad bars or Solo party cups)
  -  Disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery
  -  Plastics without any recycling symbol/plastic resin ID code on them
  -  No polystyrene (Styrofoam™) of any kind
  -  Rubber or vinyl products (such as hoses, tires, shower curtains, PVC, etc.)
  -  Drinking glasses, ceramic plates
  -  Mirrors, window glass, light bulbs
  -  Pots, pans and other household metals (curbside recycling is meant to collect packaging metal only, such as cans.)
  -  Clothing and textiles
  -  Hazardous material containers (such as for pesticides, motor oil or antifreeze)
  -  Any container that is not empty!

If you would like to know whether or not a specific item is recyclable, The Office of Recycling can be reached by phone at 301-600-2960, Monday through Friday between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, or by email at: