Items Most Often Seen Inappropriately Placed in Blue Recycling Bins

Courtesy MontgomeryCountyDEP

In his weekly message to the community, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich noted that there has been an increase in the amount of non-recyclable items being sent in for recycling. “These items can contaminate what can be reused leading to more waste.” Below are the items most often seen inappropriately placed in blue recycling – you can click on the links to learn more about what to do with them:

  • Plastic Bags, Plastic Film or Shrink Wrap. These cannot go in the recycling bins, but you may be able to recycle them at a grocery store.
  • Hazardous or Toxic Product Containers like containers for herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and automotive fluids. Some of these can start fires and are dangerous in the trash, but you can dispose of them at the transfer stations.
  • Electronics like computers, keyboards and TVs. They can be dropped off to be recycled.
  • Styrofoam® or Polystyrene, which are often used in mail packaging. Those usually just go in the trash, so try to reduce the use of these. Also note: packing material is very often marked #6 PS and #6 materials are not allowed in recycling.
  • Used medical supplies like needles, IV bags or medical equipment tubing, must be disposed of separately.

Elrich wrote, “We have worked hard to ensure Montgomery County continues to expand the type of recycling we accept. The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station takes many items that can be recycled, but cannot go in the curbside recycle bins. These items include scrap metal, mattresses, medical equipment, some building materials and clothing. Lightbulbs and batteries are accepted at the transfer station, which is in Derwood and is open seven days a week.”

Visit and click on the How Do I Recycle section for a handy resource on how to dispose of many types of items.

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Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

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