Household Recycling: Pantry Edition

By Andrea Davis on August 23, 2019

Continuing our series that gives practical and real examples of things you can recycle throughout your house, we take a visit to the pantry. And the name of the game with pantry recycling is EMPTY. Regardless of what the container is made of, all food items must be removed before it can be recycled. Please note that items listed here under Don’t Recycle cannot be recycled in Granger’s household recycling collection or drop-offs and recycling options may be available elsewhere.


  • Cereal boxes
  • Cracker and other snack boxes
  • Soup/chili cans
  • Fruit and vegetable cans
  • Individual plastic containers for fruit, pudding, etc.
  • Tomato and other sauce cans
  • Tomato paste cans
  • Tuna, other fish and canned meat cans
  • Pet food cans
  • Pasta boxes
  • Meal kit boxes (Hamburger Helper, etc.)
  • Cake/baking mix boxes
  • Glass sauce jars (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Glass condiment/pickle jars (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Plastic condiment bottles
  • Peanut butter jars and lids
  • Glass jelly/jam jars (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Mason jars (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Aluminum foil, plastic wrap and plastic baggie boxes
  • Aluminum foil and plastic wrap rolls
  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Aluminum beverage cans (non-deposit)
  • Plastic and glass oil bottles (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Plastic and glass juice bottles (glass only accepted in certain areas)
  • Plastic and glass spice jars (glass only accepted in certain areas)

Don’t Recycle

  • Chip bags
  • Wax liner bags for snack, cereal or baking mix boxes
  • Rice, noodle or dry bean bags
  • Wrappers of any kind (individual snacks, noodles, tea bag, etc.)
  • Resealable bags (cookies, baking mix, etc.)
  • Broth, juice or other cartons (Kent and Ottawa County residents only)
  • Pet food bags
  • Canisters (stuffing, breadcrumbs, etc.)
  • Cooking spray cans
  • Any foil packaging for food or drinks
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Paper plates
  • Foam plates or dishes
  • Plastic silverware
  • Plastic baggies
  • Plastic wrap
  • 6-, 12-, 24-pack beverage boxes

Preparation for Recycling

In general, all recyclable items should be empty and clean. Bottles should be rinsed, but you don’t need to spend hours making sure every last bit of food is gone. Most labels and plastic caps don’t need to be removed.

Household Recycling: Bathroom Edition


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