Continued reports in the national news say that recyclables such as plastics are being sent to landfills or incinerated, rather than being recycled. We want to assure you that yes, here in Montgomery County, we are recycling, and we continue to recycle everything that we ask residents and businesses to recycle.
The County values recycling and considers recycling a key initiative in protecting our land, air, and water, and preserving natural resources for the future.
We recycle acceptable materials collected in our County-provided curbside recycling program and send these materials to companies who will take them, further process them, and recycle them into new uses or products.
- mixed paper and cardboard
- glass bottles and jars
- metal steel/tin cans
- empty, non-hazardous aerosol cans
- aluminum cans
- foil and foil products
- plastic bottles, jars, containers, tubs, lids
- #1 clamshell containers
- bakery domes
- flowerpots, and much more!
What happens to the materials after we sort them at the Recycling Center?
The materials are sold to commodity brokers monthly. Once the materials leave our facility, virtually all of them are sold to domestic markets. As a rule, only mixed paper is sold to international markets, but that is via domestic commodity brokers.
Below are some ways you can help to keep recycling working in Montgomery County:
- Keep our recyclables “clean” – What does that mean? Keep items like plastic bags, hazardous materials, electronics, Styrofoam®, or home medical supplies out of your blue recycling bins. Learn more about how to keep your recycling clean here: https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2018/keep-recyclables-clean/
- Check our A-Z list of how to properly recycle or dispose of materials: Type the item you want to recycle or dispose of in our A-Z materials list. Don’t see your item on the list? Send us an email to AskDEP@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.
- The Plastics Recycling Factsheet has examples of plastics that can be recycled in Montgomery County, as well as items that need to be kept out of the recycling bin.
- Learn about Montgomery County’s Recycling Center: Learn how we sort and prepare materials for recycling markets at the Recycling Center. While in-person tours are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 health emergency, check out our information on how we separate recyclable materials.