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Top 10 in the Bin

If its not on the list, its not able to be recycled in your curbside bin or bag!

Top 10 Erie Final 5117 (1)


Top 10 in the Bin flyer

Waste Management's recycling brochure - Recycle Often Recycle Right

ProWaste's Recycling brochure - Zero-Sort

Types of Recycling Collection

Commingled – All paper products including magazines, newspaper, and cardboard must be separated and bundled with string, all other items can be placed in one bin

Single Stream – All recyclable items can be placed together in one bin at curb

Separated – All recyclable items must be placed in separate bags or containers as designated by municipality


Most methods of recycling are considered single-stream, which means you no longer need to separate your recyclables by type; one container for trash and one for recycling. Anything that is considered recyclable by your hauler can go together in a single container. Check with your waste and recycling hauler for specifics on acceptable recycling items and if separation is necessary.

Municipalities that accept Single-Stream recycling:

  • Borough of Edinboro
  • City of Erie
  • Fairview Township
  • Harborcreek Township
  • Girard Borough
  • Girard Township
  • Lake City Borough
  • Lawrence Park Township
  • Millcreek Township
  • Borough of North East
  • Summit Township
  • Union City Borough
  • Wesleyville Borough

Municipalities that require recycling separation or commingling:

  • City of Corry
  • Greene Township
  • Greenfield Township
  • North East Township

The most common recyclable items are plastic or glass bottles and containers, metal cans, and paper products. For more information on common recyclables, check out the EPA’s website


"Plastic" is a generic term that is applied to many different types of resin material. In order to recycle it successfully, the different formulations of plastic resin must be separated from one another. Therefore, we have plastics #1 through #7, which are identified by the number inside the chasing arrow symbol (Mobius) printed on the bottom of plastic containers.

Even if there is a recycling symbol on your plastic item, this does not mean it can be recycled in your area. Always check with your municipality or local waste hauler for acceptable recyclable materials.

Common recyclable plastics include bottles and containers; just remember to rinse clean, replace any caps, and then recycle.

Common plastic items that are NOT recyclable include:

  • Loose plastic grocery bags
  • Plastic film
  • Styrofoam cups, plates, containers
  • Plastic utensils


Most municipalities in Erie County accept clear, green, and amber colored glass food and drink containers, but the programs in Greene Township only accepts clear.

When recycling, be sure to remove lids and rinse. Don't worry about removing labels.

Common glass items that are NOT recyclable include:

  • Mirrors
  • Window glass
  • Light bulbs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Ceramics
  • Any broken glass container

Steel, Aluminum and Tin Cans

Many food, soft drink, juice and beer cans are recycled in Erie County, including steel, aluminum, tin, and bi-metal cans. You can tell if a container is steel because a magnet will stick to it. A magnet will not stick to aluminum or tin cans. Don't worry about removing labels, just rinse and recycle. Paint and aerosol cans are also acceptable if EMPTY and the plastic nozzle removed.

Common metal items that are NOT recyclable include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Pie plates
  • Hub caps
  • Siding
  • Chair legs

Take these to your local scrap yard but call first (ex., LINCOLN RECYCLING, LIBERTY IRON & METAL)


There are many different types of paper products and most are considered recyclable in Erie County. Make sure all paper products remain clean and dry. If your municipality requires separation, each of these types of paper products may need to be bundled with tape or twine on their own.

Make sure the newspaper is clean and dry and either tie with twine or place in a brown paper bag. Separate the newspapers from magazines.

Keep magazines clean and dry and place in a brown paper bag or bundle and tie.

Mixed Paper
Many municipalities recycle mixed paper, which includes glossy white and colored paper, laser printed-paper, copier paper, envelopes, sticky notes, file cards, and ledger paper.

Lightweight paperboard items such as cereal boxes, tissue boxes, shoeboxes, envelope boxes, tea boxes, paper towel tubes, and gift boxes are recyclable. Break down the boxes and place inside a larger box. Please DO NOT recycle if contaminated by food waste and keep separate from corrugated cardboard.

Cartons can be used to store items such milk, juice, soups, broth, wine, etc.  They are mainly made from paper in the form of paperboard, as well as thin layers of polyethylene(plastic) and/or aluminum. Shelf-stable cartons contain on average 74% paper, 22% polyethylene and 4% aluminum. Refrigerated cartons contain about 80% paper and 20% polyethylene.

Corrugated Cardboard
Corrugated cardboard is made of three layers, two straight outside layers and a rippled middle layer. Prepare for recycling by flattening, bundling together, and tying with twine. Do not place with mixed cardboard. Any corrugated cardboard contaminated by food waste is not recyclable, for example pizza boxes.

Common paper items that are NOT recyclable include:

  • Tissue paper
  • Facial tissues
  • Paper towels or napkins
  • Gum wrappers
  • Food wrappers
  • Pizza boxes contaminated by food waste or grease

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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