Recycling Contamination Banner w/Javi

Recycling in Peoria

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What is contamination?

Contamination occurs when:

  • Non-recyclable materials are placed in the dark brown recycle container.
  • Plastic bags are placed in the dark brown recycle container.
  • Yard clippings/green waste are placed in the dark brown recycle container.
  • Trash and food waste are placed in the dark brown recycle container.

Did You Know?

Contamination in one home's dark brown recycle container can spoil a whole truckload of material, causing it to be rejected at the Materials Recovery Facility.

After the recycle container is picked up from the curb, the recycling materials are brought to a sorting facility where they are separated by type. Loads with a high percentage of contaminants or non-recyclable materials are subject to rejection. When loads are rejected, they have an impact on solid waste service fees. The number one contaminant in the City of Peoria is plastic bags. Plastic bags can be repurposed, but they require specialized handling.

*** Plastic Bags DO NOT belong in the recycle can ***

What is the impact?

  • Contamination can undermine the environmental and cost-conscious efforts of recycling.
  • Contamination can damage the equipment at the recycling plant.
  • Contamination can prevent the sale of the material to the next user.
  • Contamination leads to more volume of material in landfills, which then become more difficult to locate, and expensive to maintain.

Mixing non-recyclable items such as plastic bags, yard clippings, and trash in with your recycling has a direct impact on every resident. It can have an impact on solid waste service fees.

Why Should I Care?

Cost Savings

It Affects Your Cost

Contaminated recycling has a direct effect on solid waste service fees for all users.


It's Good for the Environment

Properly recycling your household items leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduces landfill waste.


Safe Working Conditions

Help keep workers at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) safe on the job by not creating a dangerous situation as a result of improper recycling.




Employees work quickly to remove non-recyclables from the line so that they won't clog the sorting machinery. Plastic bags get tangled in the equipment, causing the entire line to get shut down.
Image courtesy of: Cornell Club of Arizona


What Can You Do?

To ensure that contaminants are not placed in your recycle bin, please use the following guidelines:

Safe to Place in Recycle Bin: Don't Place These in the Recycle Bin:
  • Cardboard
  • Paper (including newspaper)
  • Food Boxes
  • Mail
  • Beverage Cans
  • Food Cans
  • Glass Bottles
  • Jars (glass and plastic)
  • Jugs
  • Plastic Bottles (with caps screwed on)
  • Plastic Shopping Bags and Wraps
  • Used Napkins and Paper Towels
  • Yard Waste
  • Styrofoam
  • Greasy Pizza Boxes
  • Electronics & Batteries
  • Textiles, Clothing and Shoes
  • Construction Waste
  • Scrap Metal
  • Diapers



Sustain and Gain Brochure

Download the
Sustain & Gain Brochure


Top 10 In The Bin Flyer

Download the
Top 10 In The Bin flyer



About Peoria's Recycling Program

Recycling is the single most beneficial activity someone can engage in to increase the economic and environmental sustainability of their city. Recycling benefits the local economy by providing sources of material (plastics, glass, metals, etc.) readily available for processing and manufacturing into new products.

Recyclable material in Peoria is diverted from area landfills and instead taken for processing at area materials recovery facilities (MRF) where it is separated, sorted, and packaged for sale to product manufacturers. Recycling also contributes to the regions overall environmental sustainability by reducing the amount of raw materials extracted from the Earth for manufacturing products.

The City of Peoria provides co-mingled curbside recycling for city residents. There is no need to separate the recyclables. Please DO NOT bag your recyclables, except for shredded paper. Place shredded papers into a CLEAR plastic bag and toss it in the recycle can. Drop your plastic grocery/shopping bags off at the store where you shop, or find a plastic bag drop off location.

Childrens' Activity Book

Download this FREE printable activity book for kids that includes coloring pages, a word search, and other activities related to recycling. Join Javi the Javelina as he teaches about Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse!

Download Printable Activity Book (PDF)
Download Activity Book Answers (PDF)

Related Services
Additional Information

For additional information please contact Peoria Customer Service at (623) 773-7160 or e-mail


Peoria Recycles