Day 8: Curbside Recycling and Composting Rules


  1. When in doubt, throw it out (or give Eco-Cycle a shout)! “Wishcycling” only contaminates the stream and potentially causes problems for equipment/human sorters.
  2. The recycling symbol is unregulated and doesn’t mean the item is recyclable. Check your local guidelines rather than depending on the symbol to tell you whether you can recycle something in your home recycling bin or not.
  3. Keep plastic bags OUT of the regular recycling! Stretchy #4 bags can be collected and recycled at places like the CHaRM and many grocery stores (like Nude Foods Market), but in the regular recycling stream they jam up the machinery and are costly and dangerous to remove.
  4. The numbers on plastic packaging also don’t directly indicate recyclability. In Boulder County, stick to bottles, tubs, jugs, jars, tub lids, clamshells and hard to-go containers when it comes to plastics.
  5. When recycling plastic bottles/jugs, attach the plastic caps. If they are separate, they are too small to be recycled and clog up machinery. (The rule of thumb is that if something is smaller than 2 inches, it should go to landfill.)
  6. Tetrapak cartons can be recycled. Squish but do not flatten, and attach the plastic cap. Tetrapak are one of the few packaging producers who take responsbility for their packaging and they take the entire thing.
  7. Candy Wrappers (and granola bar wrappers) – bring to Nude Foods Market and we send them to Terracycle

Check out the full EcoCycle Recycling guidelines.


  1. If you have curbside composting, remember that you can put items such as bones and meat in your bin. These things wouldn’t be good in your backyard pile, but in the commercial facility it is hot enough to break all of that down.
  2. Contamination matters! There are no mechanisms to remove items that should not be composted. If you put fruit stickers in the compost, they will likely end up as microplastics in our soils/new food. Keep plastic OUT!
  3. Beware of greenwashing! Many petroleum plastics are marketed as “green”, “biodegradable”, “oxo-degradable”, etc. This just means that the petroleum plastic will break down into microplastics even quicker than it usually would—not good. If the product says “BPI Certified Compostable”, you can put it in your curbside compost bin. Don’t try to compost it if it’s not BPI certified.
  4. Dark and bright colored paper should be composted and NOT recycled.
  5. Shredded paper should also be composted and NOT recycled.

Check out the full EcoCycle Composting guidelines.

Challenge 8:

Download EcoCycle’s A-Z Recycling Guide App, take a screenshot and share it on the Facebook page (or just tell us you’ve done it if taking a screenshot is a pain!)

On Android.

On Apple.

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