WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Recycling plastics right with SWACO

Many of have been recycling for years, but there might be some plastics you've been recycling that are not actually accepted in the curbside recycling program in Franklin County.

GROVE CITY- Just because a plastic item has a recycling number and symbol on it, doesn't mean it's accepted in your curbside recycling program.

According to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio(SWACO), only bottle shaped plastics are accepted in the curbside bins in Franklin County.

Hanna Greer-Brown, Communications Manager at SWACO, said "Our broker and processor in Franklin County for the curbside recycling program is making decisions about what plastic materials can be recycled based on their shape."

Specifically, bottle shaped plastics where the neck of the bottle is smaller than the base. This includes things like water bottles, laundry detergent bottles, etc.

Greer-Brown said any plastics that aren't bottle shaped need to be avoided in the curbside bins.

Simply give your bottled plastics a quick rinse and leave the lids on when you put them in your recycling bin.

When it comes to lotion bottles and other plastic bottles that have a pump and spring, simply remove the lid and recycle the bottle portion. This includes items like plastic hairspray bottles, spray hand sanitizer bottles, etc.

Other plastic items that should be avoided in the curbside recycling program here in Franklin County:

  • clamshell containers
  • plastic bags
  • yogurt & hummus containers
  • coffee cup lids
  • plastic toys
  • plastic sunglasses

While these items should be avoided, you should try to limit your consumption of those products, recycle them through other outlets or simply reuse them.

Plastic bags can be recycled at local grocery stores if you choose not to reuse them.

Yogurt & hummus containers are not accepted in the curbside program in Franklin County, but they are accepted at local Whole Foods stores. Whole Foods is participating in a program called "Gimme 5" where they accept number five plastics for recycling and those items get turned into toothbrushes and other 100% recyclable items.

When we asked Greer-Brown about the consequences of putting all these "do not recycle" items in the curbside bin, she said that it can contaminate a batch of potentially recyclable items.

"If too many of those items are put in with what can be recycled it can actually lead to many of those items going to the landfill and contaminating all of our good efforts."

Visit recyclingright.org and check out the reduce, reuse and recycling tool to find out if you can donate, reuse or recycle your plastic items. Also, visit swaco.org to find out what you can and cannot recycle here in Franklin County.