Plastics

Americans generated 33 million tons of plastics in 2014, about 13 percent of the waste stream. Only 9.5% of plastics were recycled in 2013. Gallatin’s recycling program accept some, but not all, types of plastics.

Plastic Resin Codes


Generally, if the code reads 1 or 2 it can be recycled; however, the code number on the bottom of your product is not a reliable indicator of whether something can get recycled. Recycle by shape! Bottles, jars, and jugs – is the best way to know what is
Plastic resin codes

Graphic - 40% of Everything Going to the Landfill can be Recycled

40 percent of everything going to the landfill can be recycled, image of garbage piles at landfill

Cleanliness is Essential


One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected plastics. This can cause thousands of recyclable items to go to a landfill instead of being recycled.

Acceptable Items Include


  • Soda, water, shampoo, and soap bottles
  • Milk, laundry detergent, and cat litter jugs
  • Yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter tubs
  • Peanut butter and mayonnaise jars
  • "To-go” or “take out” plastic drinking cups
  • Plastic trays like those used for microwave dinners
  • Clear "Clamshell” containers like those used to package strawberries, bakery goods and salads. On these containers, try to remove as much of the price sticker from the plastic as possible.
  • Plastic egg cartons and cookie divider shells

Unacceptable Items

  • No plastic bags, plastic lids or caps
  • No Styrofoam, plastic shrink wrap
  • No plastic toys or plastic toothpaste type tubes
  • No "K-cups" or individual coffee creamers
  • No plastic marked as PLA, compostable or made from plant based materials
  • No plastic containers larger than three gallons in size