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Recycling Questions

What can go in my RIGIDS cart at my curb?

Some municipanities offer Dual Stream Recycling, meaning the customer seperates their clean and dry items for recyling from their home. For this program, there are two carts: RIGIDS and FIBERS. 

In the RIGIDS cart, and in general:

  • Plastic: Specifically ONLY clear & non-black rigid plastics #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 are accepted at this time. These numbers can be found on the bottom of your container. Plastic bags are not accepted in the curbside recycling program. Black plastic is not recyclable due to quality concerns.
  • Aluminum
  • Tin
  • Steel


Please refer to your local guidelines for specifics on your recycling program. Locate your municipality here: MeridianWaste.com/Find-A-Facility

In general, Single Stream Recycling (using one cart) recycles the same clean and dry items, but in one cart. 

What is a RIGID plastic?

RIGID plastic is an industry term that defines a category of recyclable plastic. It includes hard or rigid plastic items, as opposed to film plastic (plastic bags, pallet shrink wrap, plastic hoses and other flexible plastic items). Film plastic is not currently accepted in our curbside recycling program. 

What do the plastic numbers mean and which items are accepted?

Check the bottom of your container for that item's recycling number. 

#1 - PET / PETE : Polyethylene Terephthalate - Beverage bottles and some food containers
#2 - HDPE / PE-HD : High Density Polyethylene - Milk jugs, shampoo bottles, detergent and oil jugs
#3 - V/PVC : Polyvinyl Chloride - Plastic squeeze bottles, piping
#5 - PP : Polypropylene - Yogurt and margarine containers
#7 - Other / O : Other Resins - Lids and sport bottles 

ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED IN CURRENT PROGRAM
#4 - LDPE / PE-LD : Low Density Polyethylene - Plastic food and grocery bags, plastic wraps
#6 - PS : Polystyrene - CD cases and Styrofoam

*Glass and plastic bags, clothing, as well as waste, are not accepted in curbside recycling. Even one item can contaminate an entire cart full. 


Not all recycling programs offered by Meridian Waste are the same in all cities. 

Please refer to your local guidelines for specifics on your recycling program. Locate your municipality here: MeridianWaste.com/Find-A-Facility

What can go in my FIBER cart at my curb, or in our fiber drop-off location?
  • Mixed Paper: newspaper, computer paper, magazines and junk mail
  • Cardboard: cereal boxes, empty paper towel rolls, and corrugated cardboard

Items must be clean, meaning no greasy pizza boxes, no food waste or wax papers (baking papers, or fast food rappers even if they're food free). 

Do I need to remove labels from my tin cans or plastic bottles before recycling?

No. In most programs, it is not required to remove labels from tin cans or plastic bottles before recycling.

Tape must be removed from cardboard boxes - example: Shipping tape. 

Please refer to your local guidelines for specifics on your recycling program. Locate your municipality here: MeridianWaste.com/Find-A-Facility

Where can I recycle FIBER materials like cardboard and mixed paper?

If your city is currently utilizing a Dual Stream Curbside Recycling Program, which requires two separate carts - one FIBER and one RIGIDS container, you can put your cardboard and mixed paper in your FIBER cart for curbside pickup. You can also choose to take your mixed paper and cardboard to a local recycling facility or to a city provided drop-off location if your city has chosen to provide one.

If your city utilizes a Single Stream Recycling Program, place your clean and dry recyclable materials in the same cart. 

Find your local guidelines here: 

Missouri

www.MeridianWaste.com/Elsberry
www.MeridianWaste.com/Lake-Saint-Louis
www.MeridianWaste.com/Marthasville
www.MeridianWaste.com/Moscow-Mills
www.MeridianWaste.com/Parkway
www.MeridianWaste.com/Troy
www.MeridianWaste.com/Warrenton
www.MeridianWaste.com/Wentzville
www.MeridianWaste.com/Winfield
www.MeridianWaste.com/WrightCity 

Open Subscription in Unincorporated parts of the following counties:
St. Charles County
St. Louis County
Franklin County
Jefferson County
Lincoln County

Where can I recycle my glass?

Glass is not currently included in our Recycling Programs. You can either take your glass to a local recycling facility or to a city provided drop-off location if your city has chosen to provide one. Or if no other option is available, throw it in with your regular trash as glass is also beneficially reused to help break down bags in the waste compaction process, which ultimately saves landfill space. 

Missouri

www.MeridianWaste.com/Elsberry
www.MeridianWaste.com/Lake-Saint-Louis
www.MeridianWaste.com/Marthasville
www.MeridianWaste.com/Moscow-Mills
www.MeridianWaste.com/Parkway
www.MeridianWaste.com/Troy
www.MeridianWaste.com/Warrenton
www.MeridianWaste.com/Wentzville
www.MeridianWaste.com/Winfield
www.MeridianWaste.com/WrightCity

Open Subscription in Unincorporated parts of the following counties:
St. Charles County
St. Louis County
Franklin County
Jefferson County
Lincoln County

 

 

 

Why do recyclables need to be clean and dry?

This is one of the most common recycling mistakes. All recyclables need to be both clean and dry ensuring liquid and food residue is removed as the residue contaminates the material preventing recycling.

One contaminated item can ruin an entire batch - and your cart may be rejected. 

Do I need to wash my recyclables with soap?

No. You do not need to use soap to clean your recyclables. Simply rinsing them, ensuring all residue is removed, and drying them is sufficient.

What happens if my cardboard or paper gets wet while sitting out at the curb?

When cardboard and paper get wet, their quality deteriorates and often they will not be accepted as recyclables. Please ensure your material can stay clean and dry while out at the curb.

What items are common contaminants in the recycling stream?
  • Glass containers and broken glass
  • Food and food residue
  • Plastic bags
  • Clothing
  • Diapers
  • Greasy food containers - Pizza boxes, unclean takeout containers
How do I recycle plastic bags?

Plastic bags are not currently accepted in our curbside recycling program. They can get caught in recycling facility machinery causing processing to stall and potentially endangering workers and damaging equipment.

To recycle your plastic bags, please collect them and deposit them at your local grocery store in the appropriately marked collection bins.

Can my recycling go in a plastic bag?

No. Plastic bags are not currently accepted in our curbside program. Recyclable materials must be loose in your recycling cart. Placing your items in plastic bags will render your recycling efforts contaminated and the entire cart will be rejected. 

Plastic bags can often get stuck in the machinery at the Materials Recovery Facility and can endanger workers while also halting processing. To recycle your plastic bags, please collect them and deposit them at your local grocery store in the appropriately marked collection bins.

Can I recycle plastic bottles?

Yes. As long as the bottle is not black and is a #1, 2, 3*, 5*, 7* plastic, it can be recycled at the curb. Please ensure the item is clean and dry, and you can put the cap back on before recycling.

*Please refer to your local guidelines for specifics on your recycling program. Locate your municipality here: MeridianWaste.com/Find-A-Facility

Can I recycle holiday wrapping paper?

No. Often holiday paper is made from recycled material meaning it already has very short fibers and often contains things like glitter or other decorative features, which make it not recyclable. Please throw wrapping paper in the trash after your celebrations.

Can I recycle straws?

No. Straws tend to be small, thin and bend easily. This can cause problems at the Materials Recovery Facility as they can fall into the cracks and crevices of recycling equipment. Please throw straws in the trash.

What should I do with unnumbered plastics?

When in doubt, throw it out! When you come across un-numbered plastics, please throw those in the trash. One item can contaminate the entire recycling stream. 

Can I recycle books (paper and hardback)?

Yes. Paperback books are completely recyclable. If your books are in good shape, you may also choose to donate your books to a local resale shop.

Should I keep the cap on my plastic bottles when recycling them?

Yes. You can put the cap back on the bottle after ensuring the bottle is clean and dry.

Can I recycle my cardboard pizza delivery box?

No. The grease and food residue is considered a contaminant so the material is no longer considered clean. If the top of the pizza box has no grease on it, you can tear off the lid and recycle that with your FIBER items, if you would like.

Can I recycle padded paper envelopes?

No. These items contain both paper and plastic and would contaminate any stream.

Can I recycle paper envelopes with plastic windows?

Yes. These can be placed in your FIBER container.  But, when in doubt - throw it out!

Are small juice boxes recyclable?

No. Small single serving juice boxes, often used for children’s drinks, are made of many layers of fiber material with wax and often include foil in the layers.

Can I recycle aluminum foil or aluminum lids to takeout containers?

No. Typically aluminum foil is in small pieces and is contaminated with food. These items should be thrown in your trash.

Can I recycle aerosol cans?

No. These cans are pressurized and can explode causing fires and harm essential workers who remove waste and recycling from your homes. 

Can I recycle the cardboard rolls inside of toilet paper / paper towel rolls?

Yes. Cardboard rolls can be recycled with your FIBER material in a Dual Stream program. 

If your program is Single Stream - toss it in!

Can I recycle used paper towels and napkins?

No. These items are often soiled and not recyclable.

Is plastic wrap recyclable in our curbside program?

No. Film plastics, and unnumbered plastics are not accepted in our curbside program.

Are egg cartons recyclable?

Clean fiber or plastic egg cartons are recyclable.

Styrofoam egg cartons are never recyclable. 

Can I recycle pots and pans in the curbside program?

No. Pots and pans can be recycled through a scrap metal company, but not through the curbside recycling program.

Is Styrofoam recyclable in our curbside program?

No. Styrofoam is a #6 plastic and is not accepted in the curbside recycling program.

Can I recycle batteries in the curbside program?

No. Batteries are not accepted in the curbside program. It is best to drop off used batteries at a local household hazardous waste facility in your city or county. Call2Recycle.org is one option.

Can I recycle wax paper, freezer paper, or baking/parchment paper?

No. Wax paper, freezer paper, and baking/parchment should go into your trash.

If glass is broken, can it still be recycled?

Glass is not accepted in our recycling programs. 

If you have broken glass, safely wrap it up before disposing it in your trash cart. Broken glass is especially dangerous for our essential workers who remove waste from your homes. 

Can sharps be recycled curbside?

No. Sharps need to be safely contained in a puncture-resistant container, sealed and thrown in the trash. 

Please help protect our environmental service teams who are essential workers serving your community. 

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