Know How It Goes: Contamination Explanation

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Having unacceptable materials mixed in with your recyclables contaminates the entire container, resulting in it getting left behind on the curb.  Follow these easy steps to avoid contamination.

  1. Recycle2-SingleStream the four collectible materials - PPMG
  2. Clean your materials before throwing them in the container
  3. Avoid tossing pesky plastics into your container
  4. If you're unsure about whether a material is recyclable, send us an email or use TextMyGov.

SeparationSome products are made with both recyclable and non-recyclable material.  Sort the different components from each other, clean them and then place them in the appropriate container.  Check out some examples below.

Peanut Butter Jar

Scrape the sides to remove most of the leftover peanut butter and recycle the jar and lid. If too much peanut butter remains, toss the jar and recycle the lid.

Peanut Butter

Cereal Box

Place the cardboard box into recycling and toss the plastic bag in the trash.

Cereal Box

Package from the Mail

Throw out all packaging material so you can recycle the box. 


Frozen Dinner

Recycle the clean dish and box but trash the plastic film.

Frozen Dinner

Pastry Tube

Separate the metal ends, cardboard tube and icing container (if included) from each other. Then rinse and recycle the pieces separately.

Pastry Tube

Box of Wine

Remove the plastic bag from the box and place it in the trash.  Recycle the cardboard box.

Box of Wine

Water Bottle Case

Remove the plastic film wrapping the case and place that in the trash.  Recycle the cardboard and empty bottles.

Water Bottle Case

Six Pack

Remove the cans from the plastic holder ans place the plastic holder in the trash.  Recycle the empty cans.

Six Pack Cans



GettingYourRecyclingReadyOnce you filled your container with the clean, loose recyclables for the week, set it outside by 6:00 a.m. the morning of your curbside collection. Make sure you place your container on or close to the curb, but not in the street where it will obstruct other residents from driving or parking.  Also, we cannot enter private property to collect containers left in the yard.LearnHowtoGetContainer Opens in new window

FacebookIconTwitterIconShow us how you're rethinking recycling by connecting with us on social media, using #AnnapolisRecycles. For specific questions, contact us at 410-263-7949 or email