(Jan. 20, 2023) Worcester County’s Solid Waste division is now accepting more types of plastics in the recycling bin.
Now people can recycle plastics that are labeled one through seven. That includes household items such as salad dressing bottles, mustard bottles, yogurt containers, plastic cups and plates and Tupperware.
Most plastic containers have a small recycling symbol on the bottom with a number in the middle. That number tells you which type of plastic you’re dealing with and if it can be recycled. If there is no number on the item, dispose of it in the trash.
Not all plastics can be recycled. Worcester County is not able to recycle boat wrap, vinyl siding, buckets, milk crates, water hoses, 55 gallon drums, flower pots, Adirondack chairs, tarps, plastic trash bags, fencing, large water jugs, oil bottles, antifreeze, gas cans, potato chip bags, Ziploc bags, bubble wrap, candy wrappers, plastic alcohol bottles, or frosted bottles.
All plastic food containers (ex: peanut butter) must be thoroughly cleaned. You can recycle empty prescription bottles if they have a recycle number on the bottle, but make sure the label with the prescription information is removed from the container.
And remember to not put plastic bags in your bin or bag your recycling. Take clean plastic bags to your local grocery store for recycling. The local Food Lion has recycling bins for bags at the entrance to the store.
Not all paper can be recycled either. Loose leaf paper, newspaper, magazines, office paper, mail, hard and soft back covered books are all recyclable. Shredded paper is recyclable but must be placed in a closed paper bag in the bin to keep it together.
Brown cardboard boxes, and most boxes that carry food like cereal and macaroni and cheese boxes are also recyclable. But spiral notebooks, wax paper, plastic lined bags, such as dog and cat food bags, paper towels, dryer sheets, shiny paper or cardboard and napkins are not recyclable. And remember to remove any Styrofoam packing materials from boxes and throw that in the trash.
Most cans can be recycled including soda and beer cans, bi-metal cans for soup or pet food. Aerosol cans cannot be recycled and should be thrown in the trash. Water-based paint cans, if dried out, should be disposed of in the trash.
Glass bottles and jars can be placed in the bins for recycling. Mirrors, glass windows, dishes, vases and drink glasses are not recyclable.
Worcester County Hazardous Waste holds a drop-off once a year for residents to dispose of oil-based paints, fluorescent light bulbs, interior and exterior household chemicals (pesticides, cleaning supplies) batteries, computers and laptops, propane bottles/tanks, fire extinguishers, helium tanks. No televisions are accepted.
Worcester County has a thorough list of recycling do’s and don’ts on their website at https://www.co.worcester.md.us/departments/publicworks/Recycling_FAQ for further information.