We are used to recycling paper and plastic in our green recycling bin, but please remember that some papers and plastics should NOT be placed there.

Used tissues and paper towels degrade the quality of recyclable paper and should be placed in the trash.

Sanitizing wipes contain a plastic mesh and cannot be recycled.

Paper coffee cups are lined with plastic film and are difficult to recycle. They should be placed in the trash.

Shredded paper is too small for proper sorting and tends to scatter. These should be placed in the trash. Newton holds shredding events when you can have the city shred your paper and recycle it for you.

Plastic film including plastic bags get caught in the sorting machinery in the recycling processing facility. Take stretchable bags and film to the grocery store where they often have collection bins, or save bags until drop off resumes. Click HERE for acceptable types.

lotion tube

Flexible plastic container

Flexible plastic containers (such as lotion, shampoo, and conditioner tubes) should go in the trash, NOT your recycling bin. Clean, empty, hard plastic canisters can be recycled. 

Black plastic containers, such as takeout containers, cannot be detected by sorting machines and can contaminate other materials. These should be placed in the trash.

Plastic ‘bubble’ mailers or plastic lined paper mailers should not be placed in recycling bins. Plastic mailers can be recycled as plastic film at grocery stores. Plastic lined paper mailers should be placed in the trash.


Download the City of Newton’s RecycleRight app through the App Store or Google Play on your smartphone or go to the Newton Sustainable Materials Management website for the Recycle Right tool. There, you can type in the name of an item to learn how to dispose of it properly in Newton.