Recycle Right Athens

Paper, Cartons & Flattened Cardboard


Instructions: Paper materials must be clean and dry. Flatten cardboard.

Includes: Junk mail, mixed paper, paper bags, newspaper, paperback books, magazines, paper cups and containers, milk & juice cartons, cardboard packaging, cereal and packaged food boxes, tissue boxes, and clean pizza boxes

Where’s it go?: Mixed paper (newspaper, office paper, paperboard, etc. comprises mixed paper) sold to Pratt in Conyers, GA. Sorted Office Paper is sold to Cascade Paper, Rockingham, NC. Old Corrugated Containers (OCC), or cardboard, are sold to International Paper in Pine Hill, Alabama. 

Product:  tissue paper/ toilet paper and new boxes

Restrictions: NO photo paper, shredded paper, paper plates, napkins or paper towels. NO waxed cardboard

Metal Cans & Containers

Metal cans

Instructions: Must be empty and rinsed out. Removed plastic lid.

Includes: Beverage cans, steel food cans, aerosol cans, clean aluminum foil and trays

Where’s it go? Aluminum beverage cans are marketed to Anheuser-Busch Recycling, St. Louis , MS a scrap metal broker. They eventually make their way to Novelis Corporation in Greensboro, Georgia. Steel/Tin cans are sold to Tube City, IMS in Glassport, PA. 

Product: aluminum cans and new steel products. 

Restrictions: Cans and foil only, NO scrap metal such as tools, electronics, appliances, or propane tanks.

Plastic Bottles & Containers


Instructions: Must be empty and rinsed out. Keep lids on

Includes: Hard plastic #1-7 cups, food containers, trays, beverage bottles and jugs

Where’s it go? PET #1 plastics go to Mohawk Industries in Summerville, GA and turned in to carpet.

HDPE #2 natural and pigmented goes to Envision Plastics in Reidsville, NC. and recycled into resins for milk, juice, cleaner, detergent bottles and more.

Plastics #3-7 are sold to Universal Commodity Services in Charlotte, NC and used for resins for a variety of new products such as infrastructural components, automobiles and more.

Restrictions: Must be labeled with an embossed recycling symbol with #1-7, NO Styrofoam or plastic bags

Glass Bottles & Jars


Instructions: Must be empty and rinsed out. Remove lid

Includes: Beverage and food bottles, food jars

Where’s it go? Glass bottles and jars go to Strategic Materials in Atlanta, GA.

Product: Downcycled/reused as road base or drainage base

Restrictions: NO windows, mirrors, broken glass, or drinking glasses

More info on glass recycling in Athens.