Unacceptable Items & Contaminants

When we toss items in the blue bin hoping they will get recycled, this is called “wish-cycling” and causes more harm than good.  Materials that aren’t accepted in the blue bin for recycling can damage equipment at the recycling facility and pose a danger to workers. 

Though they can't be recycled in your blue bin, many of the items below can be taken to other facilities. For donation, recycling and proper disposal options, please visit WasteFreeSD.org.

  • Bagged recyclables
    • Only exception is shredded paper - place in a large, clear bag and tie closed)
  • Plastic bags and plastic film 
    • While these CANNOT be placed in your blue bin, they CAN be returned to retailers for recycling. Visit PlasticFilmRecycling.org for more info.  
  • "Tanglers"
    • Hoses, chains, cords, tarps, hangers and tubing
  • Clothes, textiles and hangers (donate)
  • Hazardous materials
    • Batteries, light bulbs, propane tanks, needles/sharps
  • Electronic waste
    • Computers, keyboards, cables, phones, etc.
  • Diapers and pet waste (place in the trash)
  • Organics
    • Untreated wood and yard waste can be placed in your green waste bin and food waste can be composted
  • Scrap metal        



Have a recycling question? Email Recycle@sdcounty.ca.gov or Call the Recycling Hotline: