Depending on your recycling processor, some communities can recycle plastic tubs (butter, sour cream, yogurt cups). Tubs should be empty, clean and dry.
As of January 2021, some local recycling processors are accepting plastic tubs for recycling.
What is a plastic tub?
A plastic tub is an open-top circular, oblong or square container. It may have an unattached snap-on lid or cover. An example of a plastic tub is butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, dairy or whipped topping, clear deli tubs, or fruit and yogurt cups.
Tubs must be empty, clean and dry before being recycled.
Which recycling processors are able to accept tubs?
Republic Services, Rumpke Waste & Recycling, and Waste Management accept plastic tubs for recycling in Cuyahoga County. If your community is serviced by one of these companies, you can recycle tubs. See Rumpke's fact sheet about adding tubs to recycling.
At this time, Kimble Companies does not accept tubs for recycling.
What about other plastics? Can all plastics be recycled?
In Cuyahoga County, all empty plastic bottles or jugs can go in your curbside recycling. This includes items like water and soda bottles, shampoo bottles, milk, water and juice jugs, laundry detergent jugs and bleach bottles. Think containers with a “neck.” Bottles and jugs should be emptied and rinsed. Replace the cap and place in your curbside recycling.
See more about plastic bottles and jugs plus a list of other items. Some communities can also include plastic to-go cups in recycling.
These items are not plastic tubs. Do not include them in recycling:
- NO clamshells, berry or produce containers.
- NO takeout containers.
Why can’t all plastics be recycled?
There is an abundance of plastic packaging in our society today and only about 9% of it can currently be recycled. This is due to limited markets for recycled plastic (not all manufacturers produce packaging from recycled plastic) and the complexities or sorting out the various kinds of plastic.
NPR published a project in 2019 that helps explain plastics recycling.
Until there is a major shift in the demand for recycled plastic and more sensible packaging design, consumers are limited in our recycling options. But we do have a choice now to reduce our consumption of single-use plastic. Small changes add up to less plastic waste in our landfills and our environment. Consider these ideas for reducing waste.
Looking to recycle, donate or dispose of other items? Use the dark blue 'What Do I Do With?' search bar at the top of every page of this website. Allow location services or use the city drop-down to find opportunities in your local area.