Lids…to Recycle or Not to Recycle?

When it comes to knowing what to recycle and how to do it, there can often be a lot of gray areas. Knowing how to properly discard of recyclables can be a tricky business, but with the proper info, you’ll be making the most of yours!

If you’re an avid recycler already, chances are you’re familiar with the differences in materials. From plastic jugs to aluminum cans, the list goes on and on. But what about the lids? Can they be recycled too?

When deciding whether to toss the lids out or save them, here are some things to consider:

Metal Caps from Glass Jars: The top can be recycled as long as it’s placed in the recycling bin separate from the jar. Examples: tops from pasta sauce jars, jam jars, Ball canning jars (rings and discs).

Metal Discs from Aluminum Cans: Whether an aluminum can has a pop-top or requires a can opener, the resulting metal piece can be recycled. It’s best to leave the disc slightly hanging and folded down into the can, but if it is detached it can still be placed in the recycling bin. Examples: soup can, tomato sauce can, cat food can, Ball canning jar disc.

Plastic Bottles: Lids on! Plastics are perfectly acceptable to toss out together – with some exceptions:  Pumps and nozzles should be discarded because of their metals. Some examples of plastic caps and plastic containers are water bottles, peanut butter jars, and sour cream containers.

As a measure of good faith, recyclers should always remember to rinse out their containers before discarding too!