Living Columns & Blogs

Your recycling FAQs answered

Amy Schirf
Amy Schirf

I’ve been collecting FAQs from my readers for awhile now and wanted to share some of the answers with all of you. It may take a few columns to get to all of them.

Q: What is the difference between corrugated cardboard and paperboard?

A: Corrugated cardboard is made of several layers with a ribbed center and paper on both sides. It is used for packaging items like furniture and appliances due to its heavy duty design. Corrugated cardboard should be flattened and placed next to or under curbside recycling bins or recycled at designated containers labeled for corrugated cardboard.

Alternatively, paperboard is a single layer pressed boxboard. Examples of paperboard include cereal boxes, tissue boxes and cake mix boxes. Paperboard should be bagged or bundled with all other mixed paper and placed inside your curbside bin. Paperboard can also be placed in a blue cart labeled for mixed paper or brought to a local recycling drop off container labeled for mixed paper.

Q: Can I recycle the crinkly foil on the top of Keurig and yogurt cups?

A: Yes, the crinkly foil from the tops of Keurig and yogurt cups can be recycled where you recycle steel and aluminum cans. Aluminum foil, pie pans and aerosol cans can also be recycled.

Q: Can I recycle dog food bags?

A: Although most grocery stores do take plastic wrap and film at their locations for recycling, dog food bags are not accepted. Acceptable wrap and film includes but is not limited to: newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, bread bags, produce bags, food storage bags (clean and dry), plastic cereal box liners, bubble wrap, air pillows and product wrap (used on paper towels, diapers, bathroom tissue, water bottles, etc.).

Q: Can I recycle plastic gift cards and plastic cups?

A: Yes, plastic cups, such as Solo cups, can be recycled at any of our miscellaneous plastic drop off containers. Plastic gift cards cannot. A list of all containers can be found at our website at

Q: Should I crush my plastic bottles, jugs and jars before placing in my curbside recycling bin?

A: Although that’s helpful to our employees, it is by no means necessary. Curbside employees do crush certain plastics before placing them in the collection truck to save space, which, in turn, may lead to less back and forth trips to our recycling center to unload.

Q: Can I put my paper and corrugated cardboard out if it is calling for rain?

A: A little rain doesn’t hurt the quality of paper we collect at the curb, however, if it is calling for heavy downpours, it may be best to wait until your next collection day to put out your paper.

If you have a recycling question, send me an email at I will answer you back and maybe your question will be featured in a future column.

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