Dear Recycle Lady

Dear Recycle Lady,

One of the boxes I received with an online order had Styrofoam attached to the sides of the cardboard box. I am assuming the Styrofoam was added to give the box extra strength. Can this box be recycled with the Styrofoam attached to it?

Order Online

Dear Order Online,

I am sorry to say, your cardboard box is not recyclable with the Styrofoam attached. The Styrofoam is probably glued on, which is almost impossible to get off.


Dear Recycle Lady,

When I took my recyclables to the Recycle Center for the first time, I noticed that only #1 clear plastic bottle or jugs could be put in the bin. How can I tell if the bottle or jug is “clear?” Why can only #1 clear plastic bottles or jugs be recycled?


Dear Confused,

Good question. Hold your #1 plastic bottle or jug up to the light. If you can see through it, the bottle or jug is a clear plastic, no matter what color it is. According to, #1 clear plastic bottles and jugs are the only # 1 plastics that can recycled because they are the only ones with resins that have the market demand and domestic recycling/reprocessing capacity. Other #1 clear plastics, such as berry containers, are not recyclable because of melt temperatures and material compatibility. Additionally, some #1 plastic bottles and jugs have shrink wrap labels that make these products non-recyclable, if the labels can’t be removed.


Dear Readers,

Please help us get the word out that plastic bags cannot be recycled be at the Recycling Center. Last week workers removed more than three garbage cans of plastic bags out of the recycle bins. Unfortunately, all these bags will end up in the landfill and not recycled as they could have been, if they had been taken to Kroger or Wal-Mart. Both of these stores recycle not only grocery bags, but also newspaper sleeves and cleaner’s bags.



Interested in learning more about recycling? Have questions about products that might recycle? Join us at the Greenbrier Recycling Center on Friday, Aug. 28, anytime from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Masks, gloves and social distancing required.


Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.



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