Unacceptable Items & Contaminants
Not everything belongs in your blue bin. Tossing items like plastic bags and clothing in the bin hoping they will be recycled is called "wish-cycling". Placing these unacceptable materials in the blue bin can damage equipment at the recycling facility and pose a danger to workers. Common items to never place in the blue bin include plastic bags (left), tanglers like hoses, chains, cords, clothing and hangers (middle) and plastic shipping materials (right).
- Bagged recyclables
- Only exception is shredded paper - place in a large, clear bag and tie closed
- Plastic bags,
plastic film, and plastic shipping materials
- While these
CANNOT be placed in your blue bin, they CAN be returned to
retailers for recycling. Visit PlasticFilmRecycling.org
for more info.
- Tip! Shipping materials made of paper, like cardboard boxes (flattened), packing paper and mailing envelopes CAN be placed in your blue bin.
- While these CANNOT be placed in your blue bin, they CAN be returned to retailers for recycling. Visit PlasticFilmRecycling.org for more info.
- 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)
- 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: