images for #1 and #1 plastics


number symbols for recyclable plastics

Recyclable plastics are separated according to the number usually found on the bottom of the container inside the recycling triangle. The numbers range from 1 to 7. The numbers 1 through 6 indicate the specific materials from which the plastic is made. Number 7 indicates none of those or a mixture of those.

The Recycling Center can accept only #1  and #2 plastic, and then only if the neck is smaller than the body.

#1 PETE plastic is mostly used for bottles: clear and green soda bottles, clear juice or tonic bottles, and light blue beverage bottles.

#2 plastics are mostly jugs and bottles — milk jugs, spring water bottles, cider jugs, detergent bottles, dry gas bottles, anti-freeze and motor oil jugs.

Which plastics are accepted for recycling, and how they must be separated changes from time to time as Center staff is able to find buyers for the plastics. While a previous buyer required the separation of “#2 mixed” and “#2 white,” that is no longer necessary.

Only containers with a neck smaller than the body are able to be recycled. So typical containers for yogurt, dried prunes, take out food, cottage cheese and the like are not recyclable. These must go in the yellow bags.

To prepare #1 and #2 plastics for recycling, remove the caps and rinse them clean. Motor oil jugs are the exception. Leave their caps on and do not rinse them!

What is it? Wikipedia says:

#1 PETE: Polyethylene terephthalate … is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers … Polyethylene terephthalate is produced from ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate (C6H4(CO2CH3)2) or terephthalic acid.

#2 plastics are also called HDPE. or PEHD. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. Known for its large strength to density ratio, HDPE is commonly used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, geomembranes, and plastic lumber.

It takes the equivalent of 1.75 kilograms of petroleum in energy and raw materials) to make one kilogram of HDPE.

Tin cans


Tin cans, also called bi-metal cans, are used for soup, tuna, pet food, vegetables, and juice, for example. Foil is also recycled in this category, and would include pie plates and clean aluminium foil.

horseshoe magnetIs it aluminum or tin? If a magnet sticks to the can, it is tin.

To prepare tin cans for recycling, just rinse them clean.

What is it? Wikipedia says:

Bimetal refers to an object that is composed of two separate metals joined together. Instead of being a mixture of two or more metals, like alloys, bimetallic objects consist of layers of different metals … For example, tin cans consist of steel covered with tin. The tin prevents the can from rusting.

By Walpole NH Recycling Posted in Cans- Tin
aluminum cans


Aluminum cans are mostly used for beverages like beer, juice or soda.

crossed out magnetIs it aluminum or tin? If a magnet sticks to the can, it is NOT aluminum.

To prepare aluminum for recycling, rinse clean and DO NOT CRUSH!

What is it? Wikipedia says:

An aluminum can, or can, is a container for packaging made primarily of aluminum (BrE aluminium) … Aluminum is less costly than tin-plated steel but offers the same resistance to corrosion in addition to greater malleability, resulting in ease of manufacture; this gave rise to the two-piece can, where all but the top of the can is simply stamped out of a single piece of aluminium, rather than laboriously constructed from two pieces of steel … Aluminum cans are often made with recycled aluminum; approximately 68% of a standard North American can is recycled aluminum.


Glass is separated according to color: clear, brown, green. Food and beverage bottles (beer, liquor, soda, wine, jam, jelly, fruit); as well as cooking, drinking, picture and window glass; and mirrors and ceramics are recyclable in this category.

Prepare them for recycling by removing caps and rinsing clean. Caps are not recyclable.

What is it? Wikipedia says:

Glass is an amorphous (non-crystalline) solid material … The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica (SiO2) plus sodium oxide Na2O from soda ash, lime CaO, and several minor additives.

By Walpole NH Recycling Posted in Glass