What do I do with?

Do you need help figuring out how to properly recycle or dispose of an item? Or are you interested in seeing if someone can reuse an item you no longer need?


Visit recyclewhere.org to search for reuse, recycling, and disposal options for any item!

Check out CVSan’s Guides to help you figure it out: recycling, organics, and garbage information

Find more information about Household Hazardous Waste.

FAQ’s There are lots of materials that cannot go into the blue recycling cart but can be recycled in other ways. Here is a list of common items that are incorrectly placed in the recycling cart.

Animal feces This cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? It is okay to compost vegetarian animal (bird, rabbit) feces and paper or grass bedding in your green organics cart. Non-vegetarian (cat, dog) animal feces and litter must go in the garbage cart.  

Anti-freeze and brake fluid This cannot be recycled with curbside used motor oil collection. What should I do with it? Please take anti-freeze and brake fluid to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit the recyclewhere.org for other locations.  

Ashes (fireplace) These cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Place ashes in a secure bag and dispose of in the garbage cart. 

  Automotive batteries These batteries are household hazardous waste because they may contain a corrosive chemical that can cause burns, as well as toxic heavy metals like cadmium. What should I do with it? Please take automotive batteries to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations.  

Batteries (household) Household batteries can be placed on top of the blue recycling cart in a clear sealed bag, to be collected curbside on your regular collection day. What else can I do with it? Household batteries can also be taken to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations.  

Biodegradable plastics Biodegradable plastics are derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane and are often marked with #7 (Other). Biodegradable plastics, including bio-bags are not recyclable in Castro Valley. Place biodegradable plastics in your organics cart or garbage cart.  

Blankets Blankets tangle around the machines used to process recycling and cause them to jam. What should I do with it? CVSan’s Textile Collection Week happens the first full week of June and the first full week of October. Blankets can be placed in a bag and set out curbside on your regular collection day during Textile Collection Weeks. Another option would be to donate to a community thrift store or animal shelter. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Boots The recycling process is not designed to sort out clothing or accessories. What should I do with it? Boots can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks which happen the first full weeks in June and October.  These can also be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Bowling balls Bowling balls are too heavy for recycling equipment and are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Ceramics not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Brick These items are too heavy and damage recycling equipment. They are unsafe for staff to handle. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

Building Insulation Building insulation cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.   

CDs CDs cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? CDs can be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? For more recycling and reuse information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. CDs not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Cables (electronic) Cables wrap around machines used to process recycling and cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Electronics recyclers will accept cables. For more information, see at stopwaste.org  

Cactus and palms Cactus and palms cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Compost cactus and palms in the organics cart.  

Candle wax Candle wax cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What should I do with it? Dispose of candles in the garbage cart.   

Candy wrappers Candy wrappers cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. Many candy wrappers have chemicals in them that makes them stain and water resistant, but also makes them difficult to recycle. Also, many candy wrappers are not paper, and are stained with food residue. What should I do with it? Limit your need. Purchase candy in bulk or candy with more sustainable packaging. Dispose of candy wrappers in the garbage cart.   

Carbon paper Paper with any type of contamination or layers cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Limit your need, use carbonless paper. Dispose of carbon paper in the garbage cart.   

Cardboard with dry oil Cardboard with dry cooking can be placed in the organics cart.  What else can I do with it? For more recycling information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Cardboard with wet motor oil Cardboard with wet motor oil cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart because it contains wet motor oil, which is considered hazardous waste. What should I do with it? Cardboard with wet motor oil should be taken to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations.  

Cat litter Cat litter cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Dispose of cat litter in the garbage cart.   

Ceramic Ceramics and porcelain contaminate glass because ceramic does not melt with glass during recycling processing. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable ceramic items to a community thrift. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Ceramics not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Chain Chains wrap around machines used to process recycling causing them to jam. What should I do with it? Metal scrap yards may accept chains for recycling. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Charcoal briquette bags Dust from charcoal briquette bags disperse into the air and is unhealthy for staff and dust can clog recycling equipment. What should I do with it? Dispose of charcoal briquette bags in the garbage cart.  

China plates or cups Ceramics and porcelain contaminate glass because ceramic does not melt with glass during recycling processing. What should I do with it? These can be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.

Christmas lights Christmas lights wrap around machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. Electronics recyclers will accept Christmas lights. For more information, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Cleaning wipes Compost used paper facial tissue. Please note, cotton or fabric wipes must be disposed of in the garbage cart. Do not flush cotton or fabric wipes down the toilet, as they can cause a sewer backup.  

Clothing Clothing can wrap around machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Clothing can be bagged and set out curbside for collection during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. These can also be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Concrete Concrete items are too heavy and damage equipment used to process recycling and are unsafe for staff to handle. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.   

Cooking oil Cooking oil cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What should I do with it? Small quantities of cooking oil can be disposed of in the green organics cart (food soiled papers soak this up nicely), or used cooking oil can be placed curbside next to the recycling cart in a screw-top plastic container that is no taller than 12 inches in height.  The cooking oil’s original container can be used if it meets these specifications.  Label the container “Cooking Oil.” For larger quantities, please take this to any household hazardous waste facility. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Copper tubing Copper tubing can wrap around machines used to process recycling and causing them to jam. What should I do with it? Metal scrap yards may accept copper tubing for recycling. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Diapers Disposable diapers were not designed for recycling. They contain many different materials (paper, plastic, absorbent material) and are contaminated with human waste. What should I do with it? Limit your need; consider cloth diapers.  Used diapers should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Dirt Dirt cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Dirt should be disposed of at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

Dishes Ceramics and porcelain contaminate glass because the ceramic does not melt with the glass during recycling processing. What should I do with it? These can be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in your garbage.  

Drywall Drywall cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Drywall should be disposed of at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro. For very small amounts of drywall, it can be disposed of in the garbage cart.   

Electronic appliances Cables and cords wrap around the machines used to process recycling causing them to jam. Also, these devices often contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper, and chromium. What should I do with it? These can be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more information please see this page. What else should I do with it? Electronics recyclers will accept these. For more information, see at stopwaste.org  

Electronic toys Toys are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in your garbage cart.  

Engine oils Engine oils are considered household hazardous waste. What should I do with it? Please take engine oils to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations  

Engine parts Engine parts are too heavy and cause damage to equipment used to process recycling. Also, they are unsafe for staff to handle. What should I do with it? Metal scrap yards may accept engine parts for recycling. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Expired food Food waste cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What should I do with it? If the food is in a container, empty the food directly into your green organics cart or home composting system. If the food container is recyclable, place the empty container into your blue recycling cart.  

Extension cords Extension cords wrap around machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Electronics recyclers will accept extension cords. For more information, see at stopwaste.org  

Film plastic Plastic film (bags, plastic wrap) can be recycled in your blue recycling cart by bundling them together in one larger bag (Bag-a-Bag). What else can I do with it? Reduce your need; reuse bags until they're torn. Use old bags to pick up dog waste. Many grocery stores have a barrel for recycling old plastic bags. For more recycling information, see at stopwaste.org.   

Fluorescent tubes and bulbs These lights contain mercury vapor that may be released to the environment when they are broken. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause harm to people and animals including nerve damage and birth defects. if mercury is released into the environment it can contaminate the air we breathe and enter streams, rivers, and the ocean, where it can contaminate fish that people eat. What should I do with it? Please take fluorescent tubes and bulbs to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations  

Foam peanuts Polystyrene has to be densified or baled to get a sufficiently concentrated volume to make transportation over long distances cost-effective. What should I do with it? Take foam peanuts to a packaging store for reuse. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Foil Foil can be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What else can I do with it? For more recycling information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Food-contaminated items Food scraps cannot be recycled with bottles, cans, and paper materials. What should I do with it? Compost food contaminated paper in the green organics cart.  

Footwear The recycling process is not designed to sort out clothing or accessories. What should I do with it? Footwear can be bagged and set out curbside for pickup during Textile Collection Weeks, the first full weeks in June and October. These can also be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Frozen food boxes Food service products of all materials -- paper, metal, plastic, and polystyrene -- are generally highly contaminated, and require cleaning before they can be processed for recycling, which can add significant costs. What should I do with it? Limit your need. Buy fresh food instead. Frozen food boxes should be disposed of in the garbage, and paper food boxes can be composted in your green organics cart.   

Garden hoses Garden hoses can wrap around the machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift stores. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Glass mirrors The melting point and the chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If these are included in glass recycling processes it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Dispose of glass mirrors in the garbage cart.  

Golf balls Golf balls are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Still usable sporting equipment can be donated to a variety of programs. For more information, go to stopwaste.org. Sporting equipment not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Green waste (plant debris) Green waste cannot be recycled with bottles, cans and paper materials. What should I do with it? Compost this material, either in the green organics cart or home composting system.  

Hardcover books Book covers and glues used in book bindings lower the quality of the recycled paper fiber used to create recycled paper. This reduces the value of the paper sold to paper recyclers. What should I do with it? Hardcover books can be set out for reuse in the Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  Please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage. If the book is completely paper-based and free of a fabric cover, then this item can be recycled in the blue recycling cart.   

Holiday lights (tree lights) Cables and cords wrap around the machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Electronics recyclers will accept these. For more information, see at stopwaste.org. These may also be disposed of in the garbage.   

Hoses Hoses wrap around the machines used to process recycling and can cause them to jam. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Household hazardous waste This material, including batteries, household cleaners and fluorescent bulbs, includes dangerous substances that are not safe for our staff to handle. What should I do with it? Please take these to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org, or visit at stopwaste.org for other locations.  

Hypodermic needles of any kind These are too dangerous for our sorters to handle safely. What should I do with it? Dispose of hypodermic needles, pan needles, pre-loaded sharps, auto injectors, intravenous needles, and lancets at a MED Project-sponsored box located at CVS Pharmacy. Or, bring these to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org.  

Juice Boxes Also known as aseptic containers, these cartons with the straw hole, which are commonly used for juice or soup, are made up of paper, plastic, and often metal as well. What should I do with it? These should be placed in the blue recycling cart, so please empty these containers when done and then recycle them.

Keurig Cups (K-Cups or Pods) These small plastic cups cannot be recycled with other types of plastic that go in the recycling cart. What should I do with it? These “pods” are too small to be captured in the recycling process so they should be placed in the garbage cart. Instead of using disposable “K-Cups,” try the reusable versions as we use at CVSan.

Laboratory glassware The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift stores. To find out where, see stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Laminating film and transparency sheets Laminating scraps that are mixed with paper and other items are not recyclable. Laminate and transparency sheets are also a strange resin, not consistent with other types of plastics. Scraps free of paper and other items can be disposed of with your bundled film plastics (Bag-a-Bag). What should I do with it? Dispose of the contaminated items in the garbage cart.  

Light bulbs (incandescent) The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Burnt-out light bulbs should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Liquids Liquids, like food waste, contaminate materials, make it necessary to wash them before they can be recycled. What should I do with it? Non-hazardous liquids (juice, beverages, etc.) can be poured down the sink. Hazardous liquids should be brought to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda county residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org.  

Magazines Magazines can be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What else can I do with it? Magazines can be set out for reuse in a Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page.   For more recycling information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Matches Matches cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart because they are considered hazardous waste.  What should I do with it? Hazardous items should be brought to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org.  

Medicine Medicine is considered hazardous waste and cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications at a MED Project-sponsored box located at CVS Pharmacy or a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org.  

Metal hangers Metal hangers wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Return wire hangers to dry cleaners for reuse or reuse them yourself. Metal hangers can also be recycled at metal scrap yards. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Microfibers These are usually the product of clothing or other cloth or fabric items where small fibers have broken away from the main item. Plastic microfibers are a part of the bigger problem of plastic pollution in the ocean which is consumed by fish and other sea life, and then by people! What should I do with it? Generally, microfibers are too small to be recycled and should be placed in the garbage cart (even that big ball of lint!).  If microfibers are unbleached and untreated organic fibers, such as hemp, they can go in the organics cart.

Milk Cartons These are made out of paper (and have the folded “gable top”) with a plastic liner. What should I do with it? Since the cartons are more than 90 percent paper, and they are soiled, they should be placed in the organics cart. Juice cartons that are very similar to milk cartons, but have the extra plastic cap, can also go in the organics cart since the amount of plastic is very small when compared to the amount of paper.

Mini propane, camping tanks These are too dangerous for sorting employees to handle safely. They explode in the equipment and cause hazards for employees. What should I do with it? Metal scrap yards may accept mini propane and camping tanks for recycling. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Mirrors The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included in the glass recycling process, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Napkins Tissues, napkins and paper towels are made from paper with short fibers that cannot be recycled back into paper. In addition, most tissues, napkins and paper towels are stained with food, grease or assorted bodily fluids which cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Compost these items, either in the curbside green organics cart or in your home compost system.  

Oven glass (pyrex)
 The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included in glass recycling process, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Paint Paint of any kind cannot be recycled curbside. What should I do with it? Recycle interior and exterior architectural paint sold in containers of 5 gallons or less (latex, acrylic, water-based, oil-based, enamel, deck coatings, primers, sealers, stains, shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, swimming pool paints, metal coatings, and rust preventatives) at Kelly-Moore Paints in Castro Valley. Both new and old paint can be dropped off, even if it is over 20 years old. Residents, trade painters, contractors, and businesses (that produce less than 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month) are eligible to participate. Paint can also be taken to a household hazardous waste facility. Alameda County residents can find the closest facility at household-hazwaste.org.

Paper plates or cups Single serving cups have a plastic interior lining that prevents liquids from seeping through the paper.  Due to the plastic lining, paper coffee cups cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Compost paper plates and cups in the green organics cart or in your home compost system.  

Paper towels Tissues, napkins and paper towels are made from paper with short fibers that cannot be recycled back into paper. In addition, most tissues, napkins and paper towels are stained with food, grease or assorted bodily fluids which cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Compost these items either in the green organics cart or in your home compost system.  

Paper vs. plastic grocery bags When looking at the manufacture of paper and plastic bags, both have environmental impacts on the environment. The best option is not to use them at all and take a textile alternative, or other form of container that can be reused over and over again. What should I do with it? Paper bags can be placed in the blue recycling cart or used to contain food scraps and placed directly into the green organics cart. Plastic bags: reduce your need; reuse bags until they are torn. Use old bags to pick up dog waste. Many grocery stores have a barrel to collect and recycle old plastic bags. For more recycling information, see at www.stopwaste.org.    

Pet pharmacological supplies Hydration bags and tubing wrap around recycling processing machines, causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Dispose of pet pharmacological supplies in the garbage cart.  

Phones (not electronic) Phones cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Phones can be disposed of in the garbage cart. For other disposal options, see at stopwaste.org.  

Photos Photos cannot be recycled due to the chemicals used to print the picture.  What should I do with it? Photos can be disposed of in the garbage.  

Pillows Pillows are not made to be recycled.   What should I do with it? Pillows can be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Pizza boxes Food service products of all materials -- paper, metal, plastic, and polystyrene -- are generally highly contaminated, and require cleaning before they can be processed for recycling, which can add significant costs. What should I do with it? Compost these items, either in the green organics cart or in your home compost system.  

Plastic cups Single serving cups have a plastic interior lining that prevents liquids from seeping through the paper.  Due to the plastic lining, plastic cups cannot be recycled, unless they are marked with #1-7.  What should I do with it? Limit your need. Use reusable drink containers. Plastic cups not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart. Items marked with #1-7 can be placed in the blue recycling cart (no polystyrene or foam cups).   

Plastic milk jugs Plastic milk jugs can be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What else can I do with it? For more disposal options, see at stopwaste.org.  

Plastic plant holders Plastic plant holders cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What can I do with it? Dispose of plastic plant holders in the garbage cart.   

Plastic sheeting Plastic sheeting wraps around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Plastics #6 Polystyrene also has to be densified or baled to get a sufficiently concentrated volume to make transportation over long distances cost-effective. What should I do with it? Limit your use. There are some recycling programs for foam in Alameda County. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Porcelain Ceramics and porcelain contaminate glass. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Propane tanks Propane tanks are too dangerous for sorting employees to handle safely. What should I do with it? Intact propane tanks can be reused. Single-use propane tanks (the small green ones) should be brought to Household Hazardous Waste facilities, see household-hazwaste.org  

Pyrex The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included in glass recycling processes, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Rock These items are too heavy for our equipment. They damage equipment and are unsafe for staff to handle. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

Rope Rope can wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Rubberbands These cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.   

Sand bags These cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart. No more than one filled sand bag in the garbage cart a time. For other disposal options, see at stopwaste.org.  

Sandals The recycling process is not designed to sort out clothing or accessories. What should I do with it? These can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Sandals can be set out for reuse in the Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Sheets Sheets wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Sheets can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Shoes The recycling process is not designed to sort out clothing or accessories. What should I do with it? Shoes can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Shoes can also be set out for reuse in the Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at www.stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Shredded paper By shredding paper, you cut the tiny fibers that join together to make a sheet of paper. The fibers have to be a certain length to be able to join together, if they aren’t the right length the paper can't be recycled again. What should I do with it? Send paper to a commercial facility for shredding. Put shredded paper into the compost or in a paper bag and into your green organics cart.

Sneakers The recycling process is not designed to sort out clothing or accessories. What should I do with it? Sneakers can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Sneakers can also be set out for reuse in the Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.

Soccer balls These are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Strapping materials Strapping materials wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

String  String wraps around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Stuffed animals Stuffed animals were not designed for recycling. They contain many different materials (textile, stuffing, plastics) and clog up machinery. What should I do with it? These can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Styrofoam Polystyrene has to be densified or baled to get a sufficiently concentrated volume to make transportation over long distances cost-effective. What should I do with it? Limit your use. There are some recycling programs for foam in Alameda County. For more information, see at stopwaste.org. You may also dispose of this in your garbage cart.   

Syringes Syringes are too dangerous for our sorting employees to handle safely. What should I do with it? Dispose of hypodermic needles, pan needles, pre-loaded sharps, auto injectors, intravenous needles, and lancets at a MED Project-sponsored box located at CVS Pharmacy. Or, bring syringes to a household hazardous waste facility household-hazwaste.org. For other options see at stopwaste.org  

Take out food containers Food service products of all materials -- paper, metal, plastic, and polystyrene -- are generally highly contaminated, and require cleaning before they can be processed for recycling, which can add significant costs. What should I do with it? Limit your need. Purchase food from restaurants using paper take out boxes. Bring your own reusable take out containers. Cardboard/paper containers can be put in the green organics container for composting or plastic containers (#1-7, except #6) can be placed in the blue recycling cart. Take-out food containers must be disposed of in the garbage.  

Tarps Tarps wrap around recycling processing machines making them ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage.  

Tennis balls Tennis balls are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Still usable sporting equipment can be donated to a variety of programs. For more information, see the Recycling Wizard at  stopwaste.org. Sporting equipment not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Tetra pack Tetra packs can be recycled in the blue recycling cart.  What else can I do with it? For more disposal options, see at stopwaste.org.  

Textiles Textiles wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Textiles can be bagged and set out curbside on your collection day during Textile Collection Weeks the first full weeks in June and October. Textiles can also be set out for reuse in your Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Tire chains Tire chains wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Metal scrap yards may accept tire chains for recycling. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Tires, Tire tubes These items are too heavy for recycling equipment. They damage equipment and are unsafe for staff to handle. What should I do with it? Contact Alameda County Industries (ACI) for a bulky pick up or bring tires to ACI Material Recovery Facility in San Leandro for disposal.  

Tissue paper Tissues, napkins and paper towels are made paper with short fibers that cannot be recycled back into paper. In addition, most tissues, napkins and paper towels are stained with food, grease or assorted bodily fluids which cannot be recycled. What should I do with it? Compost these items either in the green organics cart or in your home compost system.  

Toilet seats These are too large and heavy for recycling equipment and are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more information, see stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at ACI Material Recovery Facility in San Leandro.  

Wading pools These wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. Electronics recyclers will accept these. For more information, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Water hoses Water hoses wrap around our machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Waxed cardboard Waxed cardboard cannot be recycled. These commonly hold fruit or other produce. What should I do with it? Limit your need. These may be placed in your green organics cart.   

Waxed milk carton These cannot be recycled in your blue recycling cart. What should I do with it?  Compost this item, either in the green organics cart or home composting system.   

Wigs Wigs are not made to be recycled. What should I do with it? Reuse is best. Donate still usable items to a community thrift store. To find out where, see at stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.  

Window glass The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see the Recycling Wizards at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

Window panes The melting point and chemical composition of non-bottle glass is different. If included, it will create weak points in the new glass containers produced making them unsafe to use. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more recycling information, see at stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

Wires Wires wrap around recycling processing machines causing them to become ineffective. What should I do with it? Electronics recyclers will accept wires. For more information, see at stopwaste.org.  

Wood / Building materials. Dispose of old wood or building materials by giving them away, for free, via the freecycle network, or sell them to friends. What should I do with it? Still usable building materials can be donated. For more information, see stopwaste.org. Building materials not suitable for reuse may be recycled at Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro.  

VHS or cassette tapes These items cannot be recycled in the blue recycling cart. What should I do with it? These can be set out for reuse in the Bulky and Reuse Pick-up.  For more, please see this page. What else should I do with it? Reuse is best. For more information, see stopwaste.org. Items not suitable for reuse should be disposed of in the garbage cart.

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