It can be confusing to keep track of what is or is not OK when it comes to recycling plastic items. It’s tempting to put something into the green recycling bin in the hope that it might be recycled, but don’t do it! Called ‘wish-cycling,’ putting items into the recycle bin that don’t belong can contaminate the recyclable materials and cause trouble and expense at the sorting centers. If in doubt, DON’T put it in.

Please follow the City of Newton’s general guidelines below for how to dispose of plastic items.

Do Recycle in the green bin after rinsing:

  • Clear plastic containers (including any take-out container tops, “clam-shell” containers, etc.)
  • Plastic bottles (if these bottles contain any juice/soda, they should be rinsed out before recycling)

Do NOT Recycle in green bin:

  • Plastic bags (recycle at stores)
  • Plastic films/wraps
  • Plastic utensils
  • Bulky/rigid plastics (including furniture, toys, buckets, etc. can be taken to the Rumford Resource Recovery Center)
  • Garden plastics (including pots, plant saucers, etc. can be taken to the Rumford Resource Recovery Center)
  • Black plastic (such as take-out containers) – it is hard for the sorting machines to recognize dark color plastics
  • Small plastic bottles (including prescription bottles–these are too small for single stream recycling)
  • Flexible garden hoses

You can learn more at the City of Newton’s recycling page.