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New Guidance for Recycling for the Region
August 01, 2023

If you’ve ever been confused about what items you can recycle, you’re not alone., a program of the MARC Solid Waste Management District, has updated regional guidelines on what haulers and materials facilities will accept.

Contamination — putting the wrong thing in your bin — is a big problem currently facing recycling programs. Approximately 25 percent of what people put in their bins is not recyclable and ends up in the trash.The biggest recent change is with recyclable plastics. Instead of plastics #1 – #7, you can now only recycle plastic bottles, tubs and jars. The best way to determine if a plastic item is recyclable is to go by container type and resin code:

  • First, identify the container type: is it a bottle, tub or jar? If it is shaped like a bottle, tub or jar, it is probably recyclable. Here are some common examples:
    • Bottles
    • Tubs
    • Jars
  • Secondly, identify the resin code: does it display a #1, #2, #4 or #5? To make absolutely sure it is recyclable, you also need to check to make sure it displays one of these four codes. They usually appear in the chasing arrow symbol on the bottom of the container

If you’ve determined that the item is a bottle, tub or jar, and it has one of the above resin codes, then it is recyclable.

The following plastic items cannot go in your curbside bin, but can be dropped off at area businesses:

  • Bags & plastic films: these are recyclable at grocery stores, WalmartTarget and Lowe’s. Always call first. Especially if you are dropping off a sizable load or are traveling a significant number of miles out of the way.
  • Styrofoam blocks & molds: these come with items such as appliances, electronics and furniture. They are recyclable at Atlas Molded Products, 1400 N 3rd Street, Kansas City, KS 66101. You may call ahead with any questions at (913) 321-4114.

Examples of common plastic items that are not recyclable in the Kansas City region include:

  • Clamshells: takeout, fruit and dessert containers
  • Disposable tableware: plates, bowls, cups, cutlery
  • Food trays: catering trays, microwave trays
  • Plastic cups & straws: from fast food, coffee shops and convenience stores
  • Styrofoam™: takeout boxes, egg cartons, meat trays
  • Tubes: toothpaste, lotion, hair products

The Recycle Better flier is produced by the MARC Solid Waste Management District. The district gets its information directly from the region’s Material Recovery Facilities which determine which items are recyclable and which are not in the Kansas City metro area.

For more information and to download the flier, visit


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