Recycling is now commonplace in many areas – that is, recycling of plastic, metal and glass bottles and containers. But what about the accompanying lids and caps? Those should be recycled, correct? Not necessarily – it can actually be harmful to both the usability of the future recycled product and to workers in the recycling plant.
Usually, lids are not made from the same kind of plastic as the bottles they top. Therefore they should not be recycled together. When two types of plastics are mixed, one material can contaminate the other and make the process to reuse these products more difficult. In addition, because of their size, many lids do not compact properly. Finally, if the lid is still tightly fastened, it can explode as the temperature increases in the recycling process, potentially harming anyone standing nearby.
Many recycling programs do not accept the lids and caps that accompany recycled products. However, if this distinction is not made, you should check with your local program. And spread the word that recycling lids and caps may actually cause more harm than good.
Here are some recycling sites for local programs:
- Washington DC
- Montgomery County
- Arlington County
- Fairfax County
- Howard County
- Prince George’s County