Know How It Goes: Contamination Explanation




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.


Cereal Box

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


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.


NeedARecyclingContainerEveryone should have at least one blue Annapolis Recycles container.  They come in three sizes: 64-gallon, 32-gallon, and 18-gallon.  If you don't have the right recycling container, come visit us to pick up one for free. Containers can be picked up from the following locations with current I.D. and a copy of your water bill for verification:

Public Works Services Facility
932 Spa Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Public Works Administration
145 Gorman Street
2nd Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401
Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please call 410-263-7949 for availability

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.



Show 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