Let’s Talk Trash: Put a Lid on It

Have you ever gone to recycle a jar or bottle and, at the last minute, wonder whether you should keep the lid on or off? You’re not alone. Recycling “rules” have been known to change over the years, so it can be hard to keep up sometimes.

In fact, this issue of not knowing whether or not to keep the lid attached to its container is so common that Muncie’s recycling facility has adapted to what the majority of consumers do. No matter the material of the lid or its container, it’s recommended that Muncie residents keep their lids on. (There are two rare exceptions, which we’ll get to in a moment.)

The most important thing about recycling items with a lid (and really anything) is to make sure it will not contaminate the batch. This means all jars and bottles should be rinsed free of all food residue and should be dry before being placed in blue bags.

Here are a few common lidded items and how they should be recycled through MSD, including those two exceptions mentioned earlier.

Water Bottles
Nearly all water bottles are plastic with a plastic lid. However, some water bottles might be glass with a plastic lid. No matter the case, keep the lid screwed on when recycling. Just be sure all liquid is removed before recycling.

Spaghetti Sauce Jars
Be sure the jar is rinsed and dry before placing the lid back on and tossing in the blue bag.

Peanut Butter Jars
It’s best to soak these jars in soapy water overnight to loosen and remove the food residue before recycling. Make sure the jars are clean and dry before screwing on the lid and recycling.

Wine Bottles
Wine bottles can be recycled after being rinsed out. However, these are one of the exceptions to the “lid on” rule. Because cork is not recyclable, cork stoppers should be removed before recycling the bottle. The cork stoppers can be reused in craft or home décor projects.

Plastic Squirt Bottles
All parts of a plastic squirt bottle can be recycled in your blue bags. However, these bottles are the other exception to the “same material” rule: nozzles should be removed from the bottle before recycling.

If you’re ever unsure whether something can be recycled, call East Central Recycling at (765) 282-1900.