Rethink Recycling: Know Where It Goes

social-icon-facebook Opens in new window social-icon-twitter Opens in new window   #AnnapolisRecycles

We’ve all been told recycling is important for the environment, but that’s only if it’s done properly. Knowing where materials go and disposing of them correctly is an easy way to invest in our community and keep the City of Annapolis sustainable for many years to come.

As a City, we recycle over 6 MILLION pounds of materials each year.  That’s equal in weight to 150,000 bushels of crab.  However, on average, over 1.4 MILLION pounds of those recyclable materials are contaminated with trash.  Not only do these unnecessary materials take up landfill space, but we lose the ability to manufacture new materials and save precious resources.

Having unacceptable materials mixed in with your recyclables contaminates the entire container, resulting in getting left behind on the curb.  Avoid this happening to you by knowing what materials go where.  

If everyone joins our commitment to Rethink Recycling, we can decrease contamination, reduce the amount of recyclables filling our landfill and improve our City’s recycling rate.

Proper vs Improper Plastics

When it comes to recycling, not all plastics are created equal.  While some can be re-melted into new products, others just jam facility equipment.  To help do your part with proper recycling, it’s critical to know the difference.

Icons with recyclable and not recyclable plastics

Learn More About Improper Plastics Opens in new window

Bagging recyclables is also a thing of the past. Skip this unnecessary extra step and simply place all recycling items loose in the container. 

If you use a bag to collect all household recyclables, empty the materials into the container and either reuse the bag, toss it in the trash or bring it to a local retailer that can accept it as recycling. The City does not accept bags for curbside recycling.


Know where it goes

The key to proper recycling is remembering the four collectible materials. If you’re ever unsure about something being recyclable, send us an email, and we can help you determine where it goes.  Otherwise, toss that one item in the trash to avoid contaminating your entire recycling container!

graphic4-ppmg Learn More About Accepted Materials Opens in new window

Did you know we trash over 4 MILLION pounds of recyclables each year? That’s the same as putting 10 MILLION oysters in a landfill!

Know how it Goes

With our single stream collection process, we pick up your recyclables and transport them to the material recovery facility where they get separated by various types and processed.  All you need to do is simply gather your recycling each week and toss them together in your Annapolis Recycles container.


Some products are made with both recyclable and non-recyclable material.  Sort the different components from each other and place in the appropriate container.

Cereal Box

Place the cardboard box into recycling and toss the plastic bag in the trash.


Peanut Butter Jar

Scrape the sides to remove most of the leftover peanut butter and recycle the jar and lid. If too much peanut butter remains, toss the jar and recycle the lid.


Package from the Mail

Throw out all packaging material so you can recycle the box. 


Frozen Dinner

Recycle the clean dish and box but trash the plastic film.


Know when it Goes

City residents receive weekly curbside collection on designated days.  Find out which day your container will be collected and what holidays impact collection schedules.

header recycling beyond the curb

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social-icon-facebook Opens in new window social-icon-twitter Opens in new window Show us how you are rethinking recycling by connecting with us on social media, using #AnnapolisRecycles. For specific questions, contact us at 410-263-7949, or email