The following take-out containers are NOT recyclable and should be placed in the trash:
- Containers made of black plastic (because recycling equipment cannot sort it).
- Containers made of polystyrene (such as those made out of Styrofoam or that have a number six on the bottom).
- Containers made of coated cardboard of any color.
- To determined if cardboard is coated, scratch the surface of the cardboard with your fingernail. If you scratch off a waxy residue, then the cardboard is coated.
Take-out containers made out of plastic (other than polystyrene) are likely recyclable, although guidelines may vary slightly by city or hauler. Please see plastic containers for more information.
Some take-out containers are made of certified compostable material. Take-out containers with the BPI or Cedar Grove symbols are certified compostable and are accepted at the food scraps collection sites for free.