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Recycling Right: What Materials Are Actually Accepted

Group of Children Gathering Recyclable ItemsAs a Bozeman renter, you may be thinking about what you can do to live more sustainably. For a lot of people, sustainable living starts with recycling plastic, cardboard, or other materials. But what many don’t realize is that not all of these materials can be recycled. Just because an item is made of plastic, glass, metal, or cardboard doesn’t imply that it is recyclable. And placing non-recyclable items into a recycling bin is kind of a big waste of your time as well as that of the processing center. Here are some tips that may help you recycle the right way.


To find out which plastic materials are recyclable and which aren’t, experts suggest going by container shape. In general, plastic bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs can be recycled. Just really make certain to rinse out and dry each container before placing it in the recycling bin.

But mind you, the list of plastic items that cannot be recycled is kind of long, so don’t let it surprise you. To cite some examples, plastic utensils and straws are not recyclable. However, plastic food containers and water bottles typically are. Some other objects that cannot be recycled include Styrofoam, plastic shower curtains, syringes, and medical waste.

Also, plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other kinds of the plastic wrap should not go to your recycling center. These things typically clog up the machines, and they’d eventually end up in the landfill. So instead, these materials are usually recycled separately at drop-off locations in grocery stores. Finally, do not place recycling in bags – the bag will cause challenges at the processing center.


Recycling glass may be a bit more complicated than many think. This is because processing centers don’t allow certain types of glass. In some areas, the centers will not allow any glass at all. While others will only allow a certain kind of glass. Make sure to check the rules at your local processing center prior to placing glass items in the bin.

However, there are some types of glass that are just not recyclable at all. A couple of examples would be windows and mirrors, eyeglasses, vases, oven-safe ceramic cookware or dishes, and fluorescent light tubes. Due to the fact that these items have been treated with coatings or contain hazardous chemicals, they can in no way be safely recycled and should be disposed of through other methods.


The same as glass, not all processing centers permit metal for recycling. Generally speaking, if you own metal items that you desire to recycle, you’ll need to look for a place specializing in metal recycling. Many regular processing centers will not allow metals like car parts, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, clothes hangers, and so on.

Likewise, old televisions and electronics may not be easily sent to your local recycling center. The electronic components of these materials can become more complex than most recycling centers can handle. Instead, try to look for a certain local electronics shop that will allow your old electronics. Some companies will allow old electronics, including cell phones and tablets, that are broken or not anymore wanted.

Cardboard, Paper, and Wood

Certain cardboard, paper, and wood can be safely recycled, while others are to be placed in the trash bin instead. Most processing centers welcome newspapers, notebook paper, and magazines. It’s the same for flattened packing boxes, cereal boxes, and food delivery boxes. Untreated wood items are also usually all right, but it depends on what items your local recycling center is willing to take.

Still, it’s essential to understand that certain cardboard, paper, and wood types are not recyclable. This includes grease-soaked pizza boxes (a few stains of oil is fine), waxed paper cartons, and treated wood, including painted or stained furniture. Books and some types of paper are also not recyclable, so you would need to separate your paper items carefully prior to putting them in the trash bin.


By recycling the right way, you can do a lot to help your community as a renter. However, if your neighborhood is not able to support your desire for more sustainability, Real Property Management Bozeman can help! You can check out our listings online or call at 406-586-2226.

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