Paper, Cardboard & Cartons
Recycling paper, cardboard and cartons is easy. Check out the tips below as you learn how to become an expert recycler!
DO place these in the Recycle Bin:
- Cardboard boxes (flattened, OK to leave tape, staples and labels)
- Food and beverage cartons (leave caps on and place
straws in the trash)
- Juice, soup, milk, wine, etc.
- Boxes made from paper or cardboard (such as cereal or frozen food boxes)
- Mixed paper (office paper, junk mail, catalogs, magazines, newspaper, paper bags)
- Place in a large, clear plastic bag and tie closed.
- Sorters at the recycling center need to see clear bags of shredded paper to sort it appropriately. Individual scraps of shredded paper fall through sorting equipment and are not recycled.
DO NOT place these in the Recycle Bin:
- Paper coffee cups
- Typically these cups include plastic liners, which make them difficult to recycle.
- Food-soiled paper (such as dirty to-go containers)
- Napkins, paper towels, and facial tissue
- The plastic lids and cardboard sleeves on paper cups can be recycled in your bin.
- Separate the greasy pizza box bottom from the clean lid. The clean portion can be recycled!
- Add small amounts of shredded paper, napkins, and/or paper towels to your compost bin.
- Stick Post-It® Notes to a larger piece of paper to ensure it makes it through the recycling process.
Have a recycling question? Email Recycle@sdcounty.ca.gov or Call the Recycling Hotline: