Frequently Asked Questions


I'd like to compost in my backyard.  Do you have tips on how to do it?

Food ScrapsRecology is a large-scale composter.  Our technologies and techniques for composting are different than those of backyard composting, but the basics are the same. You need air, water and bugs to turn food scraps and yard trimmings into a valuable soil amendment.

We recommend the EPA's page "Create Your Own Compost Pile" to learn about backyard composting.

What can I do with the stuff that's hard to recycle?

Hard to recycle items include:

  • Electronics, such as TVs, computers and mobile devices
  • Hazardous materials like paints, chemicals, and cleaning supplies
  • Styrofoam, plastic bags, and large hard plastics
  • Large, irregularly sized items like bicycles, furniture and appliances

Each city, town or region has different capabilities for handling hard to recycle materials.  Check with your local Recology company to find out if any of these hard to recycle items are part of your recycling program.

 What types of materials can I recycle?  What number plastics are recyclable?

Traditionally recyclable materials include:

  • Glass (including unbroken clear, green and brown glass containers of all shapes and sizes, wine, soda and milk bottles)
  • Paper, cardboard and wood (including office paper, paper bags, soft cover books, phonebooks, notebooks, envelopes, construction paper, cake mix, cereal and shoe boxes, corrugated cardboard, and empty toilet and paper towel rolls) 
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals (including aluminum cans and aluminum foil, pie plates, cat food containers, beer, soda, soup and tin cans, and wire hangers)
  • Plastic (including water and soda bottles, yogurt containers, laundry detergent bottles, disposable cups, shampoo bottles, and milk jugs)

Recyclable Plastics ChartAlthough recycling programs vary from place to place, most will accept the list of materials above. However, there are several important items to note:

  • Not all plastics are recyclable. Make sure that the plastic item you intend to recycle has a number within the chasing arrow mark somewhere on the packaging. If there is none, that item is not recyclable.
  • Some recycling programs limit the types of plastic that they recycle (for example plastic resins #1 (PETE) and #2 (HDPE)). In those cases, you should only place those items in your recycling container.

Contact your local company to find out what you can recycle in your city or town.

 Where can I donate my couch, dresser, or other bulky items?

We accept appliances, furniture and mattresses, books, clothing, carpets, toilets, and almost any other "bulky" item. Depending on the services available in your area, we may even pick it up once or twice a year.  Typically we recycle these items or coordinate with our partners to make them available to a community organization or non-profit. Visit your local company to learn about the services available to you.

I have more questions!  Where can I learn more?

Have you visited our Recovered Resource blog?  You may find answers to your questions there.  We're also on Facebook, Twitter, and at your community events.  You can also always contact us or call us with your questions!