Recycling Plastic in Washtenaw County


Welcome to www.RecycleMyPlastic.com!


Washtenaw County residents are becoming increasingly aware that recycling their plastic waste is the environmentally preferred method of disposal over trashing it. However, the process of identifying the various types of plastic and whether or not they are recyclable in your community continues to confuse and intimidate. There are 8 common types of plastic, labeled #1 - #7 & PLA, and while many have recycling opportunities available, some still are non-recyclable in the community. This website is intended to help you with plastic recycling questions so that you may become knowledgeable and confident about recycling your plastic in Washtenaw County!

Some plastics are safe to reuse, and others are best left to recycle or dispose of immediately after first use. See the plastics by number guide for help in deciding what's best!

 

3 Steps to Determine if your Plastic is Recyclable

  1. Identify plastic type. To do this, locate the plastic identity code (the triangular recycling symbol with number 1-7 inside), present on the bottom or side of plastic.
  2. (Skip this step if you have already identified your plastic in step 1.) For those plastics that do not feature an numerical plastic identity code, please view "Common Products (unmarked/unlabeled)" in the second-to-last column below.
  3. View the "Recyclability" column to learn about local recycling options for your plastic.

-Top of Page-


Guide to Plastics  #1 - #7 & PLA

Please click on any link featured in the table to learn about recycling opportunities for the corresponding plastic type. 


NOTE:
  All plastic bottles must have their CAPS REMOVED.  Since caps are made from a different plastic than the bottle itself, the caps can be a contaminant in the recycling pocess. Bottle caps also jam recycling equipment. Washtenaw County residents may recycle their bottle caps through the Caps Can Do program or the Preserve Gimme 5 program.

 

Identity Code

Abbreviation & Name

Recyclability

Common Products(Marked/ Labeled)

Common PRODUCTS  (Unmarked/ Unlabeled)

Reused in these Recycled Content Products

PET or PETE

Polyethylene terephthalate

#1 plastics are commonly accepted in recycling programs throughout Washtenaw County.

All #1 plastics are accepted in the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program

The City of Saline now accepts ALL #1 containers in their curbside recycling program.

Sometimes non-bottle shapes of #1 PETE are not recycled curbside, so check with your hauler before recycling if you're unsure.

  • Plastic beverage containers (soft drink, water & juice bottles, etc.)
  • Plastic food containers (peanut butter, salad dressing, etc.)

 

  • Fleece products (blankets, outerwear, etc.)
  • Comforter fill
  • Food & beverage bottles and containers
  • Fleecewear
  • Polyester
  • Carpet
  • Luggage

HDPE

High-density polyethylene

All HARD #2 plastics (NOT soft plastics such as grocery bags and trash liners) are accepted in the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program. 

The City of Saline now accepts all #2 containers and bags in their curbside recycling program.

Sometimes non-bottle shapes of #2 HDPE are not accepted curbside, so check with hauler before recycling if unsure.

**DO NOT place any plastic grocery bags in curbside recyling bins, as they can clog the gears in mixed recycling plants.

Empty, clean & dry #2 & #4 shopping bags can be dropped off at several grocery stores throughout the County, including Kroger and Meijer.

  • Consumer product bottles (shampoo/ conditioner, liquid laundry detergent, vitamin, motor oil & similar bottles)
  • Grocery/ retail bags
  • Trash can liners
  • Plant pots
  • Milk crates
  • Cereal box liners
  • Plastic lumber for outdoor decking, fencing & picnic tables
  • Pipe
  • Floor tiles
  • Buckets
  • Garden edging
  • Bottles
  • Pipes, buckets, crates, flower pots, floor tiles, etc.

V or PVC

Polyvinyl chloride

NOT easily recyclable in traditional recycling systems. Just one #3 PVC bottle can contaminate an entire half-ton of water bottles for recycling. Always double-check your recycler's requirements before adding any #3 items!

The City of Saline accepts #3 containers in their curbside recycling program.

  • Plastic containers, jars & bottles
  • Cling wrap (Saran wrap)
  • Cables
  • Traffic cones
  • Garden hoses
  • Mud flaps
  • Cassette trays
  • Garden hoses
  • Electrical cords
  • Cables
Low-density polyethylene

All HARD #4 plastics (NOT soft plastics such as grocery bags) are accepted in the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program.

All #4 plastics of any shape, size or color are accepted through the Washtenaw County Shrink-wrap Recycling Program.

Empty, clean & dry #2 & #4 shopping bags can be dropped off at several grocery stores throughout the County, including Kroger and Meijer.

**DO NOT place any plastic grocery bags in curbside recyling bins, as they can clog the gears in mixed recycling plants.

  • Squeezable bottles (honey, mustard, etc.)
  • Shrink wrap
  • Greenhouse film
  • Stretch wrap
  • Bubble wrap
  • Consumer paper packaging (toilet paper, paper towel)
  • Other bags (grocery bags, thicker newspaper bags, bread bags)
  • Clear plastic dry-cleaning garment bags
  • Shipping envelopes

PP

Polypropylene

All #5 plastics are accepted in the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program.

Not generally collected with most recycling programs in Washtenaw County, so check with recycling hauler if unsure..

Clean and dry #5 PP may be recycled at special collection programs in Washtenaw County.

  • Yogurt and margarine tubs
  • Prescription medicine bottles
  • Some food bottles (ketchup, etc.)
  • Potato chip (or similar) bags
  • Most woven bags or tarps
  • Oil funnels
  • Cigarrette overwrap
  • Auto battery cases
  • Textile packaging
  • Most plastic bottle caps
  • Landscape borders
  • Auto battery cases
  • Oil funnels

PS

Polystyrene

HARD #6 plastics are accepted through the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program.

Soft #6 plastic, or Styrofoam, is accepted at the Drop-Off Station.

Not generally collected with most recycling programs within Washtenaw County, so check with hauler if unsure.

#6 PS may be recycled at special collection programs in Washtenaw County.

  • Styrofoam (egg cartons, carry-out food containers, packing peanuts, etc.)

 

  • Disposable silverware
  • Packing peanuts
  • CD jewel cases
  • Thermal insulation
  • Light switch plates
  • Styrofoam (or similar) products

OTHER

Any other plastic

All #7 plastics are accepted in the City of Ann Arbor's Single Stream Recycling Program

The City of Saline currently accepts #7 containers in their curbside recycling program.

Not generally accepted with most recycling programs in Washtenaw County, so check with hauler if unsure.

Can contain PVC, PLA, BPA or just layers of #5 PP and nylon or rayon.

The unknown mixture of #7 plastic resins makes it difficult to recycle.

  • Nalgene (or similar) bottles
  • CDs
  • Some food and non-food product containers
  • Plastic lumber applications
  • Some bottles

 

  • Reusable plastic beverage bottles

 PLA

PLA Polylactic Acid Resins made from corn

PLA will contaminate plastics collected for traditional recycling into new items, because the material will break down under heat.

Biodegrades under commercially-run high composting temperatures.

Do NOT place into recycling bins at this time!

PLA disposable cups, bowls, plates, and harder plastic items, such as pens, rulers, etc.    

*The term "Bottle Shapes" refers to ANY plastic container where the neck of the container is slimmer than the rest of the body of the bottle. 

Some information obtained from American Chemical Council. 

-Top of Page-

 

Contact Information

Please direct all inquiries to:

Dan Moody
Washtenaw County Solid Waste Coordinator
Email: moodyd@ewashtenaw.org
Phone: (734) 222-3827

OR

Noelle Bowman
Solid Waste Program Assistant
Email: bowmann@ewashtenaw.org
Phone: (734) 222-6874

All questions and suggestions are welcome!


WCCSWM logo
The website www.RecycleMyPlastic.com was made possible in part by the Washtenaw County Consortium for Solid Waste Management (WCCSWM).


Document Actions
Google Translate