The Village’s recycling program with Waste Management (WM) requires that all materials intended for recycling be placed into one cart or container; this is called single-stream recycling. This recycling method has increased resident participation, but has also created problems with material contamination.
Contamination occurs when non-recyclable materials are mixed in with recyclable materials, causing problems when these materials are sorted, and reducing the amount of recyclables that can be ultimately recycled. Over the last few years, recycling contamination has steadily increased in the Chicago area, affecting both processing facilities and economic market for recyclable materials. Recycling facility machinery and sorting lines slow down because of the introduction of non-recyclable material, and employee safety can be in jeopardy, especially when sharps or chemicals are placed in recycling carts/containers. Not everything is recyclable through the single stream recycling cart or container, and an entire load can be rejected for processing.

To avoid recycling contamination, the list below that includes acceptable materials in the Village’s recycling program.

  • Aluminum cans - empty
  • PET bottles with the symbol #1, with screw tops only – empty
  • HDPE plastic bottles with symbol #2 (milk, water, detergent, shampoo, etc.) – empty
  • Plastic containers with symbols #3-#7 – empty
  • Steel and tin cans- empty
  • Phone books
  • Magazine, glossy inserts and pamphlets
  • Aseptic containers (i.e. drink boxes) – empty
  • Newspaper
  • Mail (flyers, catalogs, coupons)
  • Paperboard, uncoated (cereal boxes, food or snack boxes)
  • Uncoated printing, writing or office paper
  • Corrugated containers and cardboard, uncoated
  • Glass food and beverage containers, brown-clear or green – empty
  • Cartons – empty
Not acceptable and non-recyclable materials:

  • Plastic bags & bagged materials (even if containing recyclables)
  • Microwaveable trays, plastic or glass
  • Mirrors
  • Window or auto glass
  • Light bulbs
  • Coated cardboard and pizza boxes
  • Porcelain & ceramics
  • Plastics NOT numbered
  • Expanded polystyrene
  • Coat hangers
  • Glass & metal cookware & bake ware
  • Household appliances and electronics
  • Hoses, cords, wires
  • Yard waste, construction debris and wood
  • Flexible plastic or film packaging & laminated materials
  • Needles, syringes, IV bags, or other medical supplies
  • Food waste & liquids, & containers containing such items
  • Textiles, cloth, or any fabric (bedding pillows, sheets, etc.)
  • Any recyclable materials or pieces less than 4" in size in any dimension
  • Napkins, paper towels, tissue, paper plates, paper cups, & plastic utensils
  • Propane tanks (empty or not)
  • Batteries, any
Some non-recyclable materials can be recycled elsewhere, just not in the Village’s single stream recycling, such as plastic bags or batteries. Please contact Public Works at (847) 279-6900 or SWANCC at (847) 724-9205 to determine what options, if any, are available.