Living Columns & Blogs

Catalogs, CDs, spiral containers: More recycling questions answered

After last month’s column on Frequently Asked Questions ran, I received many emails from readers with their own questions. In fact, I received so many questions that it was easy to fill this month’s column. Enjoy!

Q: Are the coverings for yogurt and cat food containers (one side is aluminum foil) recyclable as foil?

A: Yes, you can recycle these along with steel and aluminum cans.

Q: Your mention of CFL recycling brought to mind a question: Do you know how or where I can recycle fluorescent light tubes?

A: This answer applies to fluorescent tubes from households only (tubes from businesses are a whole different ball game). If you wish to recycle fluorescent tubes from households, you can bring them to our Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event next spring. We will take them off of your hands free of charge. Fluorescent tubes may also be properly disposed. Place your fluorescent tubes next to your garbage can (in plain sight for the hauler) for collection. Insert the fluorescent tubes in the packaging from your replacement tubes if you have it.

Q: What other plastic bag types can be recycled with the grocery, bread and shopping bags at the grocery stores?

A: Grocery stores accept many types of plastic bags, film and wrap for recycling. Acceptable items include but are not limited to: newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, bread bags, produce bags, food storage bags, plastic cereal box liners, bubble wrap, air pillows and product wrap (used on paper towels, diapers, bathroom tissue, water bottles, etc.). Many grocery stores have a sign above their plastic bag/film recycling bin to explain proper film recycling. It is important to note that all plastic bags, film and wrap must be clean and dry before recycling.

Q: Can we recycle catalogs?

A: Yes, catalogs can be recycled along with magazines and all other mixed paper.

Q: Can we recycle the pumps that come on soap bottles, lotions, etc.?

A: Yes, leave the pump right on the plastic bottle and put it in your recycling bin.

Q: Can the spiral containers that sugar and creamer come in be recycled with metal cans? And do the plastic lids need to be removed?

A: Yes, we accept “spiral cans” in our recycling program. Spiral cans have a thin cardboard body with a metal bottom and/or a metal rim on the top. Examples of spiral cans include coffee cans, lemonade mix cans, Pringle potato chip cans, peanut cans, etc. These cans may be placed in your curbside recycling bin or brought to any of our recycling drop off locations and placed in the compartment labeled for “metal cans.” It is helpful to us if the plastic lids are removed.

Q: Is it now allowable to include “balled-up” aluminum foil in weekly red bin curbside recyclables?

A: Yes, you may recycle aluminum foil with curbside recyclables as long as it is clean. Aluminum foil can also be brought to any of our recycling drop off locations and placed in the compartment labeled for “metal cans.”

Q: How do you recycle cassette tapes and compact discs?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have a program in place to recycle cassette tapes or CDs/DVDs.

Thanks for recycling!

Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.