When in doubt, give a shout: plastic can carriers

Your recycling head-scratchers answered.

Newton /
| 29 Sep 2023 | 06:54

If you’re not sure whether something goes in the blue bin, snap a pic of yourself with the questionable item (yes, we want to see you, too). We’ll check in with a recycling expert and run the answer in the papers – so we can keep learning together.

A question from Kathy Messina of Newton, NJ: “Can plastic can-holders be placed with commingled bottles and cans? Or should we recycle them separately and if so, how? They have the symbol “2 HDPE.”

Defer to the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out,” says Ermin Siljkovic, recycling coordinator at the Orange County DPW. “Our curbside recycling program really just wants rigid plastic containers.”

Rigid plastic can carriers can only be recycled when delivered in large quantities to a plastics recycling processor – so check with your local brewery about a take-back program. “Any brewery packaging beer in rigid plastic can carriers or plastic film rings should have a formal take-back program acknowledging that they are not curbside recyclable and encouraging consumers to return them to a brewery for re-use or proper recycling,” advises Ecofriendly Beer Drinker, a sustainability consultant focused on the craft beer industry.

Keep in mind: While these answers hold true the vast majority of the time, recycling rules are infamous for their hyperlocal variation, so it’s a good idea to check with your town.

Next up, your question. Send your question and selfie to becca.tucker@strausnews.com, subject line “recycle?” along with your name and town.