Cutting confusion: Three simple guidelines for recycling decisions

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Are recycling rules too confusing? On Earth Day, maybe the best possible day to start recycling, here are a few basics to cut through the confusion.

The tips come from Republic Services, which handles waste disposal in the Las Vegas valley and picks up recyclables for processing.

  1. Know what to throw: Generally, aluminum and tin cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, milk jugs, cardboard boxes and paper products can be recycled. However, plastic bags, dirty pizzas boxes and milk cartoms are waste and do not belong in the recycling bin.
  2. Empty. Clean. Dry.™: Make sure containers are free of food or other residue. Take a few moments to rinse and dry items before tossing them in your recycling bin.
  3. Don’t bag it: Never bag your recyclable items. Just throw them in the bin loose.

Those simple guidelines will take you a long way down the road to playing your part on Earth Day and beyond.

“The Republic Services team processes 6 million tons of recyclables every year, so we know that our customers care about the environment and want to do the right thing,” said Jeremy Walters, Community Relations Manager with Republic Services.

Republic Services provides recycling tips and more at

For more information about how customers can bring Earth Day into their everyday, visit and use #earthdayeveryday to join the conversation.

And if you’re already on board, here are a few common misconceptions. According to survey data from OnePoll, consumers are still confused about several recycling basics:

  • 43% believe plastic bags can be recycled in curbside recycling bins.
    Plastic bags require special handling and should be returned to local grocers and retailers. Never recycle plastic bags at home.
  • 30% believe foam products are recyclable.
    Foam products should not be recycled.
  • 35% think it is OK to recycle containers with small amounts of food residue.
    Food residue makes items unrecyclable. It’s important to clean out your items before recycling them.
  • 62% bag their recyclables at home.
    Bags make it impossible to know what’s inside them, which is a safety hazard, and they can jam recycling sorting equipment. You should never bag your recyclables.

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