When it comes to curbside recycling, some things are no-brainers: Newspapers, soda cans and empty, clean Trappey's bean cans all are recyclable.
Others aren't so clear-cut. What about a plastic water bottle that doesn't have a triangle and number on it or an empty cat litter box or the plastic container your strawberries came in?
Lafayette Consolidated Government recently reported a increase in non-recyclables contaminating truckloads of recyclables, causing the entire truckload to end up in a landfill.
Lisa Mahoney, recycling supervisor, offered these tips for the 38,000 or so city of Lafayette residents who utilize curbside recycling through Republic Services, which has the LCG contract.
- Plastic bottle-shaped items that are empty and clean, including laundry detergent bottles, water bottles, soft drink bottles and milk cartons, even if they're covered in wax.
- Plastics labeled Nos. 1-7.
- Clean cardboard, including litter boxes, cat food boxes, cereal boxes, packing boxes.
- Clean tin foil.
- Clean metal and aluminum cans (rinse the food out first).
- Cardboard egg cartons.
- Pizza boxes ONLY if there's no food or grease on the box.
- Cardboard rolls from paper towels and toilet paper.
- Tissue boxes if they have a little plastic, but not if entirely lined in plastic.
- Junk mail, including envelopes with plastic windows.
Don't recycle this:
- Food waste.
- Leaves and tree limbs.
- Styrofoam, including foam egg cartons and to-go containers.
- Plastics labeled No. 3-7.
- Clothes or material.
- Plastic shopping bags.
- Garden hoses.
- Pizza boxes stained with grease or with food stuck to them.
- Plastic to-go containers food.
- Paint cans, even if they're empty.
- Wood or boards.
- Plastic flower pots.
"When in doubt, throw it out," Mahoney offered.