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The Recycling Chart

woman sorting materials


Recycling is a sustainability practice of processing waste or thrown away materials to convert them into new products or raw materials. Here is the Recycling Chart for the complete understanding.

Benefits of Recycling

Read Also: Safeguarding the Environment – Recycling and Its Impact

Read Also: How Does Recycling Save Energy?

Jobs Created by Recycling Industry



The Recycling Chart

Decode Your Plastics

No. Symbol Type of Plastic Usage Safety Feature Recycling Purpose
1 PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Clear cases and bottles. For instance, disposable water bottles Mostly Safe For making tote bags, carpet, polar fleece, etc.
2 HDPE (High-density Polyethylene) Opaque bottles like cleaning products bottles and cereal box liners Mostly Safe For making tote bags, carpet, polar fleece, etc
3 V or PVC (Vinyl) Works as hard plastic in PVC piping, cooking oil bottles, and toys Toxic material For making speed bumps, decks, gutter, panelling, etc
4 LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene) Malleable plastic for making shopping bags and bread bags, which can be squeezed easily Not safe when heated or micro-waved For making floor tiles, compost bins, shipping envelop, etc
5 PP (Polypropylene) Easily colored and hard material used for yogurt tubs, plastic furniture, ketchup bottles, and plastic bottle caps The Safest Plastic For making bicycle racks, brooms, ice scrapers, etc
6 PS (Polystyrene) In egg cartons, disposable cutlery, and meat trays Harmful and toxic Can’t be recycled easily but sometimes can be used in certain kind of packing material
7 Others This category is for dangerous BPA-containing plastic. These materials are denoted with numbers 7, 5, and 3, used in phones and computer cases Avoidable It can’t be recycled easily but sometimes can be used in plastic lumber


Recycling No-Brainers – What Can be Recycled!

Glass Plastic Paper Cardboard Metal
  • All Glass containers except Pyrex
  • Water Bottles
  • Laundry Detergent Bottles
  • Household Cleaner Bottles
  • Bleach Bottles
  • Dish Soap Bottles
  • Soda & Juice Bottles
  • Mouthwash Bottles
  • Peanut Butter Containers
  • Salad Dressing Bottles
  • Vegetable Oil Bottles
  • Milk Jugs
  • Butter & Yogurt Tubs
  • Cereal Box Bags
  • Mail
  • Computer Paper
  • Lined Paper
  • Construction Paper
  • Greeting Cards
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Phone Books
  • Sticky Notes
  • Paper Cups & Unused Paper Plates
  • Receipts
  • Boxes
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Shoe & Gift Boxes
  • Toothpaste Boxes
  • Cardboard Tubes
  • File Folders


Non-Recyclable – What Not to Recycle!

  • Styrofoam
  • Used Disposable Plates & Cups
  • Meat Trays
  • Take-Out Containers
  • CD Cases
  • Sunglasses
  • Nylon
  • Metal Caps & Lids
  • Spray Tops From Cleaning Bottles
  • Blueprint Paper
  • Cigarette Boxes
  • Waxed Paper
  • Laminated Paper
  • Pet Food Bags
  • Ceramics
  • Heat-Resistant Glass (like Pyrex)
  • Padded Mailing Envelopes



  • Egg Cartons*
  • Brown Paper Bags*
  • Shredded Paper*
  • Newspaper*
  • Paper Towels (as long as not coated in cleaning chemicals)
  • Wooden Chop Sticks
  • Grass Clippings
  • Dry Leaves
  • Green Leaves
  • Tea Leaves & Bags
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters
  • Fruit & Vegetable Scraps
  • Plant Pruning
  • Crushed Eggshells

* Recyclable at places

Special Treatment for Recycling

  1. Tetra-packs, Tupperware, Baby Food Squeeze Packs, Etc.

    These items might not be allowed by the municipality to recycle. But you can approach the Terracycle. It is an organization based in New Jersey that helps in recycling hard to recycle items like these.

  2. Water Filters

    They are made up of organic material and plastic. They are also hard to recycle. Brita filter recycling program might help in recycling water filters.

  3. Electronics

    There are drop-off stores where you can leave electronic appliances. Apple also provides gift cards in exchange for old electronic equipment.

  4. Light Bulbs

    It contains mercury which should not go to waste in landfill. Many hardware stores collect old light bulbs for recycling.

  5. Batteries

    The chemicals used in batteries are too dangerous to throw in the landfill. There are recycling boxes at the library and school where you can dispose of small batteries. Car batteries can be returned to the store from where you bought them.

  6. Wine Corks

    Find out a nearby Recork drop-off. They make shoe soles out of wine corks.



Recycling Facts


Common Recycling Myths


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