Your top recycling questions answered!
Do I keep the caps ON or take them OFF my plastic bottles?
Great news: Plastic caps are now recyclable at our drop-off centers and in most area curbside recycling programs (check your hauler’s guidelines to be sure), but you do need to screw them back tight onto your plastic bottles after you rinse the bottles clean. Loose caps cannot be recycled.
Are red Solo #6 PS plastic cups recyclable?
Yes, we are able to accept Solo cups and other #6 PS (not EPS, commonly known as styrofoam) plastic containers at our drop-off recycling centers and KCMO accepts them through curbside recycling, as well. If you live in another municipality, it may depend on the curbside service in your area. We have confirmed that Deffenbaugh accepts Solo cups.
How can I recycle plastic shopping bags, newspaper bags, sandwich bags, etc.?
Unfortunately, we are still unable to accept any plastic bags or wraps at the drop-off recycling centers we manage.. Plastic bags/wraps cannot be commingled with other plastics in the big blue bin and we don’t have a recycling company to take them separately. Plastic bags/wraps are not typically accepted in curbside recycling, either (check your hauler’s guidelines to be sure). Many grocery and department stores accept their clean shopping bags for recycling and may accept other bags; check with the stores where you shop for details.
Can the nozzle on a spray cleaner bottle be recycled?
Unfortunately, no, because they are typically made of more than one kind of plastic and different types of plastic must be separated for recycling. Also, many spray nozzles contain metal springs, which are a contaminant if recycled with plastics.
Do I have to remove the metal spiral rings from my notebooks to recycle the paper?
The bad news is, yes, metal (and plastic) spiral rings must be removed before you recycle your notebooks. The good news is that the metal rings can be recycled with scrap metal (plastic rings are just trash, unfortunately). Also, be aware that most notebook covers are made from paperboard and should be recycled separately from the office-quality notebook paper.
Why did you stop accepting household batteries? How can I recycle them?
We stopped accepting household batteries because we are no longer able to dispose of them through the Regional Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Program which only accepts waste from residents, not businesses. We are classified as a business under Missouri state law.
Missouri residents of participating communities can dispose of household batteries at the KCMO HHW Facility and the Lee’s Summit HHW Facility* for free. Residents of non-participating communities can dispose of them for a fee at the Lee’s Summit HHW Facility only.
Johnson County residents can dispose of household batteries for free at the Johnson County HHW Facility in Mission and the Olathe HHW Facility.
Acceptable types of batteries include:
- Single-use – button, AAA, C, 9-volt, etc.
- Rechargeable – cell phone, laptop, power tools, etc.
- Lead-Acid – car, motorcycle, ATV, etc.
Rechargeable batteries can also be recycled for free at Best Buy, Lowe’s, and Home Depot (only power tool batteries) stores. You can search for other battery recycling options near you at RecycleSpot.org. *The Lee’s Summit HHW Facility currently does not accept any single-use batteries for recycling.
Why did you stop accepting styrofoam?
Because Expanded Polystyrene (EPS #6) is about 98% air, it only makes sense for people to recycle it along with their other materials. Making a special trip to recycle EPS, burning fuel and emitting carbon and other air pollution, cancels out the benefits because there’s so little petroleum in it to be recycled. We also found it infeasible to meet the recycling company’s requirement that EPS be completely clean due to the large volume we were receiving as the only drop-off recycling center in the metro area accepting EPS.
Why can’t I recycle plastic containers that held motor oil/windshield washer fluid/toilet bowl cleaner*/drain cleaner/insecticide/herbicide/etc.?
Residues from these kinds of household hazardous waste are contaminants that cause problems in the recycling process, and the water pollution you would cause by trying to wash the residues off the plastic is more harmful than putting the container in the landfill. Once you’ve used up the product, the best thing to do is to screw the cap back on tight and place it in your regular trash. *Most toilet bowl cleaners are corrosive so the containers cannot be recycled, but not all. Check the label: If it has “Danger” or “Corrosive” on it, dispose of it in your trash; if it says “Caution” or “Warning,” you can rinse it, replace the cap, and recycle it.
Why did you stop accepting compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs?
- BTG’s community recycling centers stopped accepting CFL bulbs because we are no longer able to dispose of them through the Regional Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Program.
- On the Missouri side, the HHW Centers in the East Bottoms of KCMO and Lee’s Summit will accept CFL bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and other HHW without a disposal fee from residents of participating communities; go here to see if your community is one of them and for other details.
- On the Kansas side, Johnson County accepts CFLs, fluorescent tubes, and other HHW from residents year-round by appointment at two locations; go here for details.
- Lowe’s and Home Depot accept CFL bulbs at no charge. Batteries Plus Bulbs stores accept CFL bulbs, fluorescent tubes and other kinds of bulbs at their stores but there may be a fee; go here for details.
- You can search for other recycling options near you at RecycleSpot.org.