We may be in the habit of throwing items in the recycling bin, but with changing demands for recycled materials come changing rules. Everything we throw into the recycling bin may not actually be recycled. Prince William County has changed their rules for what can be recycled at their centers. If your recycling pickup service uses their facilities or if you directly drop them off at the collection centers, here is what you need to know.
Recycling at Home and Drop-off Trailers
These items can go into your home collection bins and be dropped off at the recycling trailers at all Prince William County facilities.
- Plastic bottles marked with a 1 and 2. This includes bottles and jugs for soda, water, juice, milk and detergent (Please rinse out the containers before recycling them and replace the lids.)
- Aluminum and steel food and beverage cans (Empty and rinse the cans before recycling.)
- Empty aerosol cans
- Paper such as magazines, newspaper, catalogs, paperboard boxes like cereal
Drop off at the Landfill and Balls Ford Road Facility (not in the recycling trailers)
These items can be recycled, but they must be dropped off at the facility and not the recycling trailers or in your home collection bins.
- Scrap metal (but not car bodies)
- Household and car batteries
- Used oil filters
- Antifreeze or motor oil stored separately in a clean container
- Yard waste like leaves, brush, tree limbs, and grass clippings
- Textiles like clothing and shoes
- Flags to be properly retired by the Boy Scouts
Do Not Recycle at Home or Drop-off Trailers
These items are currently not recyclable through the county.
- Plastic bottles that contained hazardous materials like oil, chemicals or flammable materials.
- Plastic bags
- Glass containers, jars, window glass, mirrors, light bulbs and ceramics
- Plastic containers marked with a number 3 through 7 like margarine containers, yogurt containers, buckets, air pillows, bubble wrap and Styrofoam.
What You Can Do With Hard-to-Recycle Items
- Glass – While county officials work on a plan to allow you to recycle glass, you can reduce your consumption of items packaged in glass. You can also find ways to upcycle and reuse glass around the house.
- Plastic bags – While the curbside and recycling centers will not take plastic bags, grocery stores often collect these for recycling. Buy reusable grocery bags or opt for paper, a more eco-friendly option to plastic bags.
- Plastics 3 through 7 – Since there are currently no recycling options in the county for these plastics, it’s best to cut your consumption of items that use them if you want to reduce your impact on the planet. There are also many creative ways to upcycle single use plastics to keep them out of landfills and make them useful again.
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