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  • Philadelphia Recycling Guide


    Recycling Guide: Do’s & Don’ts

    Confused about what you can stick in that single-stream recycling bin, Philly? We made a handy guide of do’s & don’ts for you based on the Philadelphia Streets Department guidelines. (This doesn’t cover ever consumer product but should give you an idea. We also cover a lot of the harder recycling questions in our Where Can I Wednesday column.) Find out where to get a FREE recycling bin in Philadelphia.

    Download a FREE Printable Philadelphia Recycling Guide here: 

    Get a printable version so you can hang it on your fridge or somewhere convenient:


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    Philly Single Stream Recycling Guide 2017

    Created by Samantha Wittchen, iSpring

    Philadelphia Recycling Do’s:


    • Orange juice cartons
    • Milk cartons
    • Juice boxes
    • Soup boxes
    • Ice cream cartons
    • Egg Cartons


    • Pie tins
    • tin and aluminum cans
    • empty aerosol cans
    • empty paint cans


    • Jars and bottles

    Mixed Paper:

    • Newspaper
    • Magazines
    • Mail (junk and personal) & Flyers
    • Phone books
    • ALL books (including hardback books
    • Food boxes (remove plastic liner)
    • Computer paper
    • Wrapping paper (no plastic wrap)
    • Soda and beer cartons (no food-soiled paper, please!)

    Plastic Containers:

    The majority of your household Plastic Containers are recyclable in your single-stream curbside recycling bin:

    #1 – PET (Polyethylene)Soda and water bottles, condiment and peanut butter jars, etc.

    #2 – HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)Milk, water and juice jugs, detergents, shampoo bottles, dairy product containers, flower pots, some household cleaners

    #3 – PVC – (Polyvinyl Chloride)Rigid plastic containers and juice bottles, Charcoal lighter, mineral water, cooking oil bottles, etc.

    #4 – LDPE – (Low Density Polyethylene)Plastic tubs and lids from butter, margarine or similar products, Fabric softener bottles, lotion & sunscreen containers, etc

    #5 – PP (Polypropylene)Yogurt containers and deli trays

    #6 – PS (Polystyrene)Plastic cups, plates and to-go containers (clear, rigid #6 only, NOT Styrofoam* products)

    #7 – (Other plastic)Many mixed plastic containers and plastic products like ketchup squeeze bottles, syrup bottles, microwave containers

    You can also download the Plastics Recycling Fact Sheet for more info.


    • Empty and flattened

    Philadelphia Recycling Don’ts:


    • Aluminum foil, pots & pans, paper clips


    • Light bulbs, window glass

    Mixed Paper:

    • Tissues, paper towels, napkins, wax-coated cups or containers, food-soiled paper, file folders


    • Plastic bags, PVC pipe, packing inserts or “peanuts”, medical plastics, including IV tubing, sharps, and syringes. Please refer to proper disposal guidelines from your medical service providers.


    • Styrofoam*, chemicals, rubber, wood, and ceramic or porcelain plates or cups containers

    *Note: Styrofoam CAN be recycled if you take it to the Streets Department Northeast Philadelphia Drop-Off Center at State Road & Ashburner Street, Philadelphia PA.