Recyclopedia: Can I recycle it?

In 2018, MassDEP launched a new statewide recycling education initiative – Recycle Smart. This groundbreaking effort is aimed at reducing contamination in recycling. Contamination, simply put, means putting trash and other materials that don’t belong in the recycling bin. The problem is a major issue in “single stream” recycling. These materials or “contaminants” drive up recycling costs for cities and towns, slow down the ability of Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to process recyclable materials, and increase the risk of worker injuries. The challenge of contamination is particularly serious right now as certain international markets have closed as a result of contamination.

With the tag line “Do Your Part, Recycle Smart,” this effort focuses on the importance of putting the right materials in the recycling bin and taking care to separate out the materials that don’t belong, such as plastic bags, food, liquids and “tanglers.”

Check out this great resource Home | Recycle Smart (

Please reference the attachments to view the information in various different languages.