Why can't all plastics be recycled?

Right now it isn't possible to sell all kinds of plastics to a factory to make new products.Either the markets do not exist or they are so far away that it is too expensive to ship the plastics to them. Recycling arrows on a plastic container does not automatically mean that the container can be recycled.

Different kinds of plastics can't be mixed together to be recycled. Plastics must be separated into individual types. Each type is shown by a number on the bottom: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. Each number stands for a different resin (a different chemical). Each resin reacts differently when it is reprocessed into a new item, because different resins melt at different temperatures. Factories that make new products out of plastics are set up to take only specific resin types.

Even resins with the same number can't always be recycled together. You might wonder why #2 yogurt and margarine tubs can't be recycled in the City's recycling program when #2 milk bottles can. It's because the tubs are "injection molded " and the bottles are "blow molded." These two different processes create chemical combinations that react differently when they are melted down for recycling. So they can't be mixed together.

What about caps and lids? They need to go in the garbage because they are usually made from a different resin. Too many caps in a bale of plastic can make the whole bale worthless.

Crush the plastic bottles & jugs to make room in your bin. Not only will you make room in your bin, you will also help save space in the recycling truck.

The simplest way to remember which plastics can currently be recycled is to remember the following phrase; "If the item has a #1 or #2 on the bottom and the neck is smaller than the base, you can recycle it!" Please don't put any of the following plastic items in your recycling bin: motor oil containers, yogurt and margarine tubs even if it has a #1 or #2, or microwave trays.