What Can Be Recycled in Atlanta- and Where and How to Do It

What Can Be Recycled in Atlanta- and Where and How to Do It

Arden's GardenJun 22, '20

At Arden's Garden, we like to focus on healthy options and sustainability. Our smoothies no longer require the use of straws since we've adopted sippy cup lids, but we do offer agave straws if necessary. Also, our plastic food containers and bottles can be recycled. 

In an effort to help increase sustainability efforts here in Georgia, we've researched various ways that you can recycle effectively throughout the metro Atlanta area.

What Can Be Recycled in Atlanta by County

There are specific items that can be recycled in Atlanta, and each county is different. Both Dekalb and Gwinnett counties offer a single-stream recycling program. This means that all the sorting is done at the local recycling center, so you don't have to pre-sort ahead of time.

  • Fulton County - There is a long list of recycling services in Fulton County if you're looking to dispose of cans, cardboard and glass. Some recycling centers include the Sandy Springs Recycling Center and Keep Atlanta Beautiful Community Recycling. You can recycle Plastics 1, 2 and 5.
  • Dekalb County - If you live in Dekalb County, you can recycle aluminum cans, flattened cardboard boxes, tissue and paper towel cylinder cores, frozen food containers and Plastics 1-7. You can also recycle glass at specific drop-off locations.
  • Cobb County - Using the Keep Cobb Beautiful initiative, you can find a list of recycling resources for that county. You can recycle cardboard, cartons, plastic containers, aluminum, tin cans, glass jars and bottles.
  • Gwinnett County - Residents of Gwinnett County can recycle aluminum beverages and food containers, flattened cardboard boxes, paper grocery, shopping and lunch bags, paperboard and Plastics 1-7.

If there are items that you want to recycle that aren't on this list, Gwinnett County also offers Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful -- a non-profit charitable organization that will provide you with the name of a recycling facility that accepts the material you want recycled. This ranges from batteries to window screens.

What Are Plastics 1-7?

arden's garden lemonade

  • Plastic 1: PET - PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate and is typically used for beverage bottles, detergent and cleaning containers, and food containers. It is an easily recyclable plastic and can be recycled into other bottles, polyester, and fill for sleeping jackets, bags and bumper cars. Arden's Garden's fruit juices, veggie juices and fruit smoothies are sold in PET bottles.
  • Plastic 2: HDPE - HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene and is used for milk and water jugs, shampoo and motor oil containers, and some plastic bags. These types of plastics can easily be recycled into new containers, plastic lumber, lawn edging, pipes, ropes and toys. Arden's Garden's 2 Day Detox is sold in HDPE jugs.

two day detox

  • Plastic 3: PVC - PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. It's used in some food packaging, among other things, but it's actually one of the least recyclable plastics due to additives that create harmful substances during disposal.
  • Plastic 4: LDPE - stands for Low Density Polyethylene. These types of plastics are used for bread, frozen food, grocery bags, plastic wraps and some bottles. This plastic is not usually recycled.
  • Plastic 5: PP - stands for Polypropylene and can be found in disposable diapers, baby bottles, deli soups, syrups, yogurt, margarine containers and straws. This plastic type is not easily recycled.
  • Plastic 6: PS - stands for Polystyrene and is either in rigid plastics like CD cases and disposable cutlery, or formed plastic like Styrofoam food containers, packaging, insulation and egg cartons. While it's possible to recycle PS plastics, it's more advisable to reuse them where practical.
  • Plastic 7: OTHER - this type of plastic is a mixed list that includes lids, medical storage containers, electronics, sport water bottles, baby bottles, clear plastic cutlery, and metal food can liners. Mixed resin plastics are difficult and almost impossible to recycle.

Plastic Food Tips

arden's garden cheezy kale chips

Arden's Garden Cheezy Kale Chips

  1. Avoid heating food in plastic containers. When heat is added to plastic, it can release chemicals so it's best to avoid putting your plastic food containers in microwaves. An alternative would be to place them in a microwave-safe dish. The same is true for liquids. Plastic containers should only be used for cold liquids.
  2. If you want to re-use a plastic container, you should be sure to wash it with mild detergents. Harsh detergents can also release chemicals into plastics, which can then contaminate the food.
  3. Try to avoid plastic packaging if possible. Bring reusable bags when grocery shopping and your own to-go containers when dining out.
  4. Store your food with safe plastic. The safest plastics for food storage are plastics 1, 2, 4 and 5. Although, the safest method would be to consider switching out your plastic containers with glass containers.

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