Are You Recycling Right?

Most Jefferson City residents understand the value of recycling. In fact, individuals inside the city limits can take advantage of single-stream recycling through Republic Services. With this process, the majority of a household’s recyclable materials can go into a single bin for pick up--with no sorting required. This includes plastic bottles, aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, and more.

But did you know a single dirty bottle can contaminate the contents of a whole recycling truck, rendering it unusable? To make the most of your recycling efforts, it’s important to understand and apply some simple guidelines.

What’s allowed

According to Republic Services, cardboard, paper, metal cans, plastic bottles, and jugs can all be recycled. When you place them in your bin, make sure that your items aren’t attached to non-recyclable materials. For example, you should remove newspapers from their plastic sleeves before tossing them. It’s also important that your items are empty, clean, and dry. Take a few minutes to dump out any lingering substances, rinse your empties, and let your recyclables air dry before putting them in your bin. When it comes to glass recycling, look for the big, purple Ripple Glass bins around town. Ripple Glass accepts glass containers of all colors, and labels don’t have to be removed for recycling to take place.

What to avoid

Even in 2019, there are some materials that can’t be recycled. Republic Services stresses that soiled paper (think coffee cups) and styrofoam have no place in your recycling bin. If an item can’t be recycled single-stream style, don’t hesitate to get creative! Plastic bags can’t be processed, for example, but many area stores have drop-off spots for them. Clothes aren’t recyclable, but they can be donated to area groups; leftover food and lawn clippings can be composted; and your old batteries have special disposal locations, too.

To help customers remember the specifics, Republic Services has developed brochures, posters, and container labels to keep close by. You can download them for free here:

To learn more about recycling opportunities in Jefferson City, visit and be sure to check out the video below.

Happy recycling!


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