Create a Kitchen Recycling Plan in Your Home!

By Rebecca Vitkus

Although there are many issues that tend to divide us rather than bring us together, there’s one issue we can all agree on: We need to care for the Earth. But how do we do this? In the midst of our daily activities and unending to-do lists, how can we find the time to work toward building a safer, healthier environment for the future? One of the easiest and most effective ways we can protect our planet is through the simple act of recycling. A little effort can go a long way, and by doing your part to recycle, you are contributing to the effort to sustain our environment, one piece of plastic at a time.

The first, and probably the easiest, place to start with your recycling plan is the kitchen. Here, we daily dispose of multiple items that can be recycled, in one fashion or the other. Below, we break down some of the most common items that are disposed of in the kitchen, and where and how to get rid of them.

Alachua county recycling made easy:

Blue BIN

  • Yogurt cups
  • Margarine tubs
  • Bleach bottles
  • Aerosol cans (no pesticides)
  • Plastic containers with a neck, up to 4 gallons
  • Green/clear/brown glass bottles (wash them out and place with glass)
  • Aluminum, tin/steel cans (wash and place lids BACK in can)
  • NEW: Beverage cartons, such as milk, juice boxes and soy milk containers.

Orange BIN

  • Brown paper shopping bags
  • Cereal boxes/pasta boxes


  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Vegetable/fruit scraps
  • Eggshells

Grocery Store

  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Food trays
  • Clean and dry Ziplock® brand bags (where plastic bags are accepted)


  • Remove lids
  • Wash out containers
  • Step on plastics to save space
  • Break down boxes to save space

Alachua County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center

  • Alkaline batteries
  • Smoke detectors
  • Microwaves
  • Small appliances
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Household cleaners
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Cooking oil
  • Button cell batteries

Best Buy

  • Small appliances
  • Nickel-zinc batteries
  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • MP3 players
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Lead-acid batteries (non-automotive)


  • Plastic bags
  • Nickel-zinc batteries
  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Lead-acid batteries

Batteries Plus

  • Incandescent light bulbs
  • Halogen bulbs
  • GPS systems
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Digital cameras
  • CFLs
  • Cellphones
  • Cellphone accessories
  • Car batteries
  • Button cell batteries

Notes: Some fees for battery and light bulb recycling may apply. Please contact your local store for details.

University Ace Hardware

  • HHW
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • CFLs

Notes: Please note, fluorescent bulbs and CFL’s are accepted from households only, at no charge.

The kitchen is just the first place to start — keep going through the house, garage and garden. Recycle, reuse and reduce waste. Our Earth needs us! ]


According to, it is illegal in the state of California to throw away any type of battery, including single use, in the trash.

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