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The word "recycle" next to the "chasing arrows" Recycling Symbol and a Photo from a Materials Recovery Facility, with four workers standing in front of baled recyclables

   (Click the image above to check out our Recycle Like You Live Here campaign videos!)


The Vermonters' Guide to Recycling poster is available in العربية (Arabic), Bosnian, Français (French), नेपाली (Nepali), Español (Spanish), and Swahili.

1. Learn what goes in Vermont curbside/blue recycling bins

Empty and rinsed clean Containers like bottles, cans, and jars, and clean and dry Paper, Boxboard,  and Cardboard. Aluminum, steel, glass, paper, cardboard, and plastics #1 and 2 are banned from the landfill so they must be recycled.

Recycle Containers, Cardboard, and Paper

2. Learn the blue bin recycling DOs and DON'Ts

Don't put batteries, plastic bags, textiles, dirty containers, scrap metal, or electronics in your blue bin.

  •  Recycle clean, dry paper and cardboard and empty and rinsed clean containers, metal, glass bottle and jars, and plastic bottles, tubs, and packaging. Maximum size 2 inches and minimum size 2 feet. For more info, call 802-828-1138 or visit Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.DO rinse recyclable containers clean. They don't have to be perfect—just free of most residue.
  • DO breakdown and fold large cardboard boxes.
  • DO buy materials made from post-consumer recycled materials—you'll help create markets for recyclabes!
  • DON'T place styrofoam, drink cartons (milk, juice, pouches, etc.), or black plastic in the recycling. There is no current market for these materials.
  • DON'T put anything smaller than two inches on two sides in your recycling bin. 
  • DON'T place plastic bags in the recycling bin. Bags clog up the sorting machines.
  • DON'T put anything with leftover food on it in the recycling. That's gross! And it reduces the value of the recyclables.

Real people sort your recycling. When you put the wrong things in your bin, it makes their job grossor downright dangerous. The photos above are things that cause the most problems at sorting Things to not recycle: No Plastic Bags, No Batteries, No Stuck on Food or Drink, No Scrap Metal, No Clothing, No electronics, No Hazardous Containers. This is only a partial list. facilities. Please don't put them in your recycling bin or cart. Some of these materials, however, can be recycled elsewhere!

3. Ask your waste district, town, or hauler what else you can recycle. 

You may be able to recycle other items in your town, either in your mixed recycling bin or at a special drop-off. Contact your hauler or waste district or town to learn more.

Wondering about a specific item? Explore your waste district or town's online A-Z guide, a searchable list of what to do with many items in your region. If something is missing from the A-Z list, ask them to add it!

Visit our "What Do I Do With This...?" page to learn more about state-wide drop-off recycling programs for other materials, like electronics, batteries, and paint.

Have questions? 

Why recycle?

It's a simple way you can take care of our beautiful state. Recycling creates jobs and new products, reduces climate change, and conserves resources, energy, and landfill space. In Vermont, your recycling can be picked up curb-side or you can drop it off at a transfer station or recycling center. 

Ready to spread the word?

Go to the Universal Recycling Downloads page for posters, fact sheets, and signage for recycling, food scrap, and trash containers, including the Vermonters' Guide to Recycling poster in العربية (Arabic), Bosnian, Français (French), नेपाली (Nepali), Spanish (Español), and Swahili.