The (blue) can and cannot from holiday recycling

The holidays produce a lot of trash – and a lot of questions about what can be recycled in your Hillsborough County blue recycling bin. This simple list will help keep things straight.

First off, if you’ve purchased a real tree, you can set it up after the curbside holidays on your typical landscaping waste collection day (usually Tuesdays in Westchase). You must, however, remove all garlands, lights and decorations. Cut the discarded tree in half if it is more than 5 feet in height. The tree will be taken to the transfer station where it will be cut and recycled as mulch.

The key to successful recycling is remembering that everything must fit in the bin. Garbage collectors will not pick up items left outside or perched on top of your garbage and recycling bins.

In addition, in the case of recycling, place all items to be recycled in the bin without placing them in other bags or containers.

What can be recycled in the blue bin

• Greeting cards
• Wrapping paper (provided it does not have aluminum foil)
• Newspapers and magazines
• Flattened cardboard boxes (These must fit inside the bin; oversized cardboard items can be taken to the waste transfer station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave. at no additional charge.)
• Recyclable food and drink containers (these should be emptied and rinsed before placing them loose in the blue recycling cart; do not place them in other bags or containers.):

  • # 1-7 Plastic Bottles and Containers (The number appears inside the triangle of arrows.)
  • Aluminum, tin and steel boxes
  • Cartons, such as those for soy milk, juice boxes, chicken broth, etc.
  • Glass bottles and jars

What cannot be recycled in the blue bin

• Gift bags
• Silk paper
• Ribbon and knots
• bubble wrap and plastic wrap
• Foam packaging (this can be recycled at the Dart Container Corp. facility at 4610 Airport Road in Plant City.)
• Styrofoam trays under meat and products (they are recyclable in most supermarkets.)
• Holiday Decorations and Ornaments (Place in the gray bin.)
• Plastic grocery / grocery bags (these are recycled by most supermarkets.)
• String lights (these can be recycled at the waste transfer station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave.)
• Small appliances such as toasters, hair dryers, slow cookers, etc. (Place them in your gray bin.)
• Pre-lit trees (Place them in the regular trash can).
• Electronics (You can recycle electronic items with digital displays or circuit boards (computers, televisions, laptops and video consoles) at the waste transfer station at 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave.)

For more detailed information on what is recyclable in Hillsborough County, please visit i-recycle.

By Chris Barrett, editor

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