The most popular post I ever made on social media as a Zero Waste Block Leader was a clarification on lids.
At one of the recent neighborhood association meetings, the big question of the day for me was if canning lids could go in the recycling. Well, as you can image we had quite the range of answers, even from amongst us Zero Waste Block Leaders. So I asked, and received written confirmation, which is listed below.
I have confirmation from the City of Austin that canning lids and other composite/mixed material lids should go in the trash carts and not the blue recycling carts. These are a mixture of metal and rubber, wax or plastic and cannot be separated by the City’s contractors/providers.
Other single-material lids may go in the blue carts.
Lids may stay on the item if the material is the same, e.g. plastic lid on plastic bottle.
If the materials are different, e.g. metal lid on glass jar, please separate the items before putting them in the blue carts.
If you live in the apartments, please check with your complex’s provider/hauler/contractor for more information.
My favorite brochure from the City of Austin is its how to guide, What Goes In?
As always, ideally items should be rinsed out, especially if the lid is put back on.
I know this is a contentious issue. At the beginning of curbside recycling many people were instructed not to include lids; I believe they may have clogged the sorting machines of the time. I have information from individuals new to Texas that the previous place(s) they lived also do not currently accept lids. You should always check with your local recycling provider, but in Austin we take the lids!
City of Austin Residential Recycling / Styrofoam / Apartment Dwellers Guide
City of New Braunfels Residential Recycling / Styrofoam
City of Round Rock Residential Recycling / Recycling Center
City of San Marcos Residential Recycling / Apartment Dweller Quick Facts
Apartments should check with their provider/contractor or that provider/contractor(s) website(s) for instructions/restrictions.