Plastic, glass, cartons and metal

METAL (all kinds)

  • metal cans (soup, pet food, empty aerosol cans, dried-out paint cans, etc.)
  • aluminum foil wrap & trays
  • metal caps & lids
  • household metal (wire hangers, pots, tools, curtain rods, knives, small appliances that are mostly metal, certain vehicle license plates, etc.)
  • bulk metal (large metal items, such as furniture, cabinets, large appliances, etc.)

GLASS (bottles & jars)

PLASTIC (rigid plastics)

  • plastic bottles, jugs & jars
  • rigid plastic caps & lids
  • rigid plastic food containers (yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, “clamshell” containers, other plastic take-out containers)
  • rigid plastic non-food containers
  • rigid plastic packaging (“blister-pak” and “clamshell” consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.)
  • bulk rigid plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)


Empty and rinse containers before recycling. Place all together in CLEAR bags, or in any bin labeled with BLUE recycling decals or marked “METAL, GLASS & PLASTIC”.

Recycle caps & lids.


Wrap knives or similar sharp metal objects in cardboard (such as a piece of cereal box) and secure with tape. Label the package “CAUTION: SHARP” and place with other designated metal, glass, plastic recyclables. For Home Sharps/Hypodermics, see Household Medical Wastes.

Place bulk metal or plastic next to recycling bins or bags.

Call 311 before discarding appliances that contain CFC gas.

5¢ deposit: Take deposit bottles and cans back to the store for refunds.

Don’t include the following with your metal, glass, plastic & carton recycling:

  • plastic foam items (foam cups, foam egg cartons, foam trays, foam packing peanuts, foam sporting equipment, etc.)
  • plastic bags, wrappers, shower curtains, and all kinds of plastic “film”
  • containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals
  • lighters (plastic, metal, or any material)
  • plastic tubes (toothpaste, lotion, and cosmetics, etc.)
  • single-serve food and drink squeezable pouches (juice pouches, baby food squeeze pouches, yogurt to go pouches, etc.)
  • cassette and VHS tapes
  • pens & markers (plastic, metal, or any material)
  • disposable razors
  • 3-ring binders (if separate the metal rings, can recycle the metal)
  • umbrellas
  • garden hoses
  • luggage (plastic or textile)
  • sponges
  • sports balls (basket balls, bowling balls, soccer balls, footballs, yoga balls, etc.)
  • any glass items other than glass bottle & jars (mirrors, light bulbs, ceramics, glassware, etc.)
  • batteries (take batteries out of toys before recycling)
  • electronics (computers, TVs, and related devices)
  • extension cords and Christmas tree lights
  • diapers

These items listed above are not recyclable and can create problems in processing the material that is recyclable.

You can take plastic bags and rechargeable batteries to many retail stores in NYC to be recycled. For more info on this and other take-back programs, see: Take it Back NYC.

If an item is in good condtion, see reuse it nyc for reuse options.