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 and Cardboard. Aluminum, steel, glass, paper, cardboard, and plastics #1 and 2 are banned from the landfill so they must be recycled.
2. Learn the blue bin recycling DOs and DON'Ts
- 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 gross—or downright dangerous. The photos above are things that cause the most problems at sorting 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!
- Explore our "What Happens to My Stuff?" webpage.
- Call the Waste Management Division switchboard at (802) 828-1138.
- Post questions on the Vermont Recycling & Composting Initiative Facebook page or send a private message.
- Explore our "How Can I Waste Less?" webpage for tips that can reduce your trash and recycling. Some of the tips can save you money!
- Find transfer stations or recycling centers near you using the Materials Management Map.
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), and Swahili.