What to Recycle

When items that can’t be recycled enter the recycling stream, contamination occurs. Contamination can ruin an entire batch of recycling, causing it to be trashed instead.


  • Items for recycling must be clean and free of food waste.
  • Plastic bags are not accepted in CVWMA recycling programs.
  • Do not bag recyclables in plastic.
  • Keep Styrofoam, shredded paper, batteries and hoses/cords out of your recycling container.

No need to sort. CVWMA recycling programs are single stream, meaning materials do not need to be sorted. Everything is separated at the processing facility in Chester.


what not to recycle


Empty & Rinse Containers · Flatten Boxes · No Trash or Yard Waste · No Plastic Bags

Download Visual Guide

No bags
no tanglers
no hazardous items
no styrofoam


Do not bag recyclables. Return plastic bags and wraps to retailers. No garbage
No hoses, wires, chains or electronics · No flammables, motor oil, paint or batteries · No carryout packaging or packing materials


Your 2022 CVWMA Recycling Collection Schedule

Recycling collections are every other week. To help you remember, you can sign up for our free collection day email reminder or download the collection schedule

Recycling Collection Schedule

Accepted Items

Aluminum and Steel Cans
Metal cans, including food and beverage cans. Empty and rinse. Place lids back inside the can.

  • Aluminum foil is not accepted.
  • Decorative tins, sets of pots and pans and cooking pans are not accepted.

Food and Beverage Cartons

Food and beverage cartons such as milk, juice, soup and creamers. Empty, rinse and replace plastic caps before recycling. If possible, do not crush.

Here is a short video by the Carton Council on what new products that recycled cartons can be made into. Watch our educational clip too.

Glass Bottles and Jars
Food and beverage clear, blue, brown & green bottles and jars. Empty and rinse.

  • Remove and throw away metal caps/lids from glass bottles or jars before recycling.
  • Metal lids are not accepted.
  • Drinking glasses, canning jars, Pyrex, window glass, and ceramics are not accepted.

Paper and Cardboard
Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, computer paper, junk mail, cereal, cracker, pasta, shoe boxes, gift boxes other paperboard boxes and paper bags. Corrugated cardboard boxes – please flatten.

  • Greasy pizza boxes are not accepted.
  • Ice cream containers are not accepted.
  • Receipts are not accepted. This thin paper can contain non-recyclable layers and chemicals. Refuse receipts or place then in the trash.
  • Hardback books are not accepted. Contact local libraries or thrift stores about donation. If you must recycle, remove covers to recycle book paper pages.
  • Shredded paper is not accepted. Take your documents to a shredding event or compost at home. Also check with local animal shelters to see if they can use the shredded paper for bedding.

Kitchen, Laundry, Bath: Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Tubs
Plastic bottles and containers such as milk and juice jugs, soda and water bottles, shampoo bottles; detergent bottles, butter tubs, yogurt or sour cream containers, clear clamshells, berry baskets, prescription bottles, etc. Empty, rinse and replace plastic cap before recycling.

  • Styrofoam containers/packaging are not accepted.
  • Spray pumps on plastic bottles are not accepted. Remove pump before recycling the bottle.
  • Plastic bottles with motor oil are not accepted.
  • Plastic garden plant pots are not accepted.
  • Plastic bags, of any kind, are not accepted.

Non-accepted Items

NO! Plastic bags or plastic wrap

  • Plastic bags are the #1 contaminant found in recycling containers nationwide.
  • Many grocery stores and big-box retailers take back plastic bags for recycling. Find a drop-off near you.
  • Plastic bags and other tanglers can damage equipment at the processing facility when they get wrapped around moving parts.

NO! Do not bag recyclables

  • Do not bag recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags will not be opened at the sorting and processing facility.
  • Bags will be landfilled.

NO! Tanglers, Cords, Hoses or Chains

  • No hoses, wires, chains or electronics are accepted.
  • Holiday tree lights are not accepted.

NO! Flammables, Fuel Tanks or Batteries

  • No flammables, motor oil, paint or batteries are accepted.
  • No plastic motor oil bottles are accepted. Motor oil residue has become one of the biggest contaminants for plastics markets. The residue seeps into the porous plastic and cannot be removed through the washing process. Never rinse or wash motor oil bottle yourself. Motor oil down the sink or storm drain causes a much larger environmental crisis than a plastic bottle in the trash. Save those containers to pour used motor-oil back in to for return to your local automotive parts store.
  • No batteries of any kind are accepted. Ever. Lithium batteries can cause fires.

NO! Food or Liquids

  • Food-contaminated items such as pizza boxes or aluminum foil are not accepted.
  • Any food left on your containers may attract pests to your recycling bin.
  • Food residue also contaminates the materials and makes them non-recyclable.

NO! Styrofoam, Foam Products or Carryout Packaging

  • No Styrofoam or foam products of any kind including cups, carryout packaging and packaging materials (like peanuts). Recycle foam packing peanuts here.
  • No cornstarch based or biodegradable packing materials (like peanuts).

NO! Shredded Paper

  • No shredded paper.
  • No bagged shredded paper.
  • The shreds clog the machinery, contaminate the glass processing, and end up as litter inside the processing facility.
  • Contact SPCA or local animal shelter to see if they accept donations or use in composting.
  • Click here for REUSE ideas for shredded paper from Treehugger.

NO! Aerosol Cans, Plastic pumps

  • Aerosol cans are not accepted.
  • Spray pumps are not accepted.

Recycle at home? Recycling not collected? Call CVWMA at 804-340-0900 or send a detailed email with name, address and service issue to customerservice@cvwma.com.