Common recycling questions answered

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Recycling is pretty simple, but it sure can seem tricky, especially if you’re unsure about some of the basic “dos and don’ts” at Sedona Recycles. We have been getting a lot of the same questions for many years, so here is a little refresher on some of our most frequently asked questions.


Do I need to clean out my bottles and cans before recycling them?

A little rinse goes a long way towards keeping Sedona Recycles clean and fresh. You don’t need to worry about scrubbing every bit of peanut butter out of the jar, but please empty your containers and give them a quick rinse. Remember, every piece of metal and plastic we receive is handled by our employees, so try to recycle your items in a way that you wouldn’t mind handling after a few days outside.


Can lids be recycled?

Yes. Please keep plastic lids on plastic bottles. Steel can lids should stay attached to the can or be stuffed down inside. If you have loose metal lids, such as those from glass bottles or jars, collect them in a steel can and then crimp the lid of the can shut when it’s almost full. You can do the same with plastic lids: collect loose lids in a yogurt tub or wide mouth plastic container and recycle when full.

Loose lids will not be recycled. Our steel magnet is not strong enough to lift loose metal lids and the mishmash of plastic lids, straws, and tiny bits of grit and various detritus are too small for our busy hands to pull off the sorting line. 


How should I recycle shredded paper?

Please keep your shredded paper in a plastic bag to prevent litter. We will open the plastic bag once we are ready to bale the paper inside. Please don’t dump your shredded paper directly into the paper bin. All those little shreds fall out and blow away, littering the surrounding forest and Carroll Canyon wash and making a lot more work for our staff.


Does Sedona Recycles accept Styrofoam?

Yes and no. We accept polystyrene blocks and sheets at our Sedona facility from 8am-4pm daily. Only dry, clean blocks and sheets are accepted. These materials are most commonly found as coolers and packaging material.

We also accept Styrofoam packing peanuts and egg cartons for reuse at our facility in Sedona only. Please place these items in the marked bins: packing peanuts inside the facility during business hours, and egg cartons in the bin in the parking lot.

We cannot accept any polystyrene cups, plates, bowls, to-go boxes, etc. We do not accept any polystyrene products at our satellite drop-off locations or deposited in our Plastics & Cans bins due to contamination.

If you are not sure if your Styrofoam is recyclable, give it a squeeze and scrape it with your nail. If it is squishy and doesn’t break apart we cannot recycle it. If it is hard and little beads of foam break off when you scrape it we can accept it.


Does Sedona Recycles accept plastic bags?

No. Most local grocery stores recycle plastic bags, so please take your bags to your favorite store. You can even include dry-cleaning bags, Ziploc bags, plastic wrap, cereal bags, and most other film plastics.

Sedona Recycles doesn’t take plastic bags because they make a big mess at our outdoor facility, blowing away and littering Carroll Canyon wash, contaminating our other products, and getting tangled in our equipment. The bags we pull out of our other materials are so dirty they have to be thrown away. In fact, the majority of the garbage produced at our facility is plastic bags. Please help us recycle these bags instead of sending them to the landfill by taking them directly to the grocery stores that accept them.


Does Sedona Recycles accept soy milk/broth (aseptic, TetraPak) containers or milk cartons?

No. There is a range of issues that have kept us from accepting these materials. One is volume. It would take such a long time to get enough of these containers to ship a full load that the material would degrade as it sat in our yard for several months and the milk and other liquids left inside could cause some serious issues.

Aseptic containers are difficult to recycle because they are made of paper, plastic, and aluminum sandwiched together, so we are not sure that we would want to recycle them even if we could. The process is so complicated that we are unsure if it can really work. We suggest avoiding these containers whenever possible and sticking to products in simple, recyclable packaging.


These are only a few of the questions we receive on a regular basis, so if you are wondering about anything else, just give us a call at (928) 204-1185 or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page on our website,


Meghan Kincheloe, Sedona Recycles

Sedona Red Rock News

February 15, 2017