What kinds of plastic can I recycle in Sioux Falls?
It’s understandable why it’s so confusing – different communities accept different types of plastic, and many people think the triangle with the number means recyclable- It Doesn’t.
When asked What Numbers Can Be Recycled In Sioux Falls and the surrounding area, we keep it simple. The only types of plastic we can recycle are plastic bottles, tubs and jugs, as well as bagged plastic bags. Try to ignore those numbers.
Why Can’t I Go by the Number?
We don’t go by the #1-#7 numbers because even plastics labeled under the same number are not created equal- some can be recycled, and some cannot be. These numbers identify the initial type of chemical used to make thousands of different kinds of plastics. As plastics are formed, dyes and other additives are added to give the final product its desired shape, color, and texture. Each of these additives change the chemical composition and determine whether the final material will be recyclable or not, meaning… ignore the numbers!
For example, a clear berry container has a different composition than a disposable water bottle, even though they are both #1. When melted together, an ash is created in the mix that can completely ruin the batch or lower the quality for the new material.
Why Can’t you Recycle Everything? It’s Plastic… Just Recycle it.
Recycling companies like Millennium can only recycle the types of plastics that have a demand to be made into something new. Collected materials must have enough market value to cover the costs of collection, processing, and transportation to the marketplace, otherwise, recyclers wouldn’t be able to pay employees, pay for the facility, pay for equipment or pay for any operational costs. This is especially true in Sioux Falls, where recycling companies are privately owned and not funded by tax dollars, like many other communities.
So What Can I Recycle?
Plastic bottles, tubs, jugs and bagged plastic bags can be recycled in Sioux Falls. These can all be made into new items and can be sorted out in our recycling process. Anything that does not fit into these categories are a No.
Here are some items we get asked about a lot that are on the NO list:
- Plastic toys
- To-Go containers
- Starbucks cups
- Red Solo Cups
- Plastic Forks
- Plastic Knives
- Plastic Spoons
- Plastic Straws
- Plastic Swimming Pools
- Plastic Cars
- Plastic to-go lids
- Compostable Plastics
- Plastic Tupperware
Did we miss one you have a question on? Ask us! We love to hear your questions.
Have something else you’re not sure about? Use our handy Where Do I Take This tool to search the database of local places you can recycle almost anything!