Watch Out For Dirty and Non-Recyclables Before Tossing in the Blue Bin

provide a recycling program

Recycling is the way of the future, and we’re getting much better. However, we all need to work together to make sure that what we recycle at home actually ends up being recycled. We are always trying to improve our recycling game here at Sunrise Sanitation, but there are still limitations to what can be recycled, and they’re important to note.

Recycling limitations

Recycling guidelinesWe are constantly expanding what we can and can’t recycle. New equipment, new facilities, and new services are constantly improving. However, there are still limitations to recycling, and it’s important that we understand these limitations. Ignoring the recycling rules or instructions means that too many non-recyclables or “dirty” recyclables end up in the bin, and without the ability to resort all of the recycling, more often than not it all ends up in the landfill. Before you recycle, make sure that the material is accepted by your waste management and recycling company.

Dirty recyclables

When we talk about dirty recyclables, we’re talking about materials that seem like they should be recycled, but are actually contaminated and should be thrown in the wastebasket. Dirty recycling often consists of:

  • Greasy and dirty paper products, like the bottom of a pizza box or used paper plates after eating said pizza
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic bags and zip lock bags that are too thin and flexible to go through the recycling machines


There are also many things that feel like they should be allowed in the blue bin but are actually contaminated or considered non-recyclable.

  • Rope and string that can also get tangled in the recycling machines
  • Small appliances that fit in the blue bin but contain too many materials that can’t be recycled
  • Coffee cups that have multiple materials like wax, styrofoam, and plastics
  • Paint or aerosol cans may seem like they should be recyclable, but due to the toxic materials they housed, they cannot be recycled in the blue bin

Sort your recycling

Make sure to understand what can and can’t be recycled. The more carefully you sort your recycling, the more you are sure that the materials will actually end up recycled, and not have to be taken to a landfill because there are too many items that can’t be recycled.

Sunrise Sanitation provides waste and recycling services in West Virginia and Maryland. We’ll pick up your recycling at home, at work, or at your job-site, or you can drop off your recycling at our recycling drop off facilities. Be sure to check our recycling guidelines before you drop it off.

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