SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Every year, the average American goes through over 250 lbs of plastic waste, much of it plastic packaging. The recycling bin is part of the solution, but what actually can go in, what can’t, and why?

Do you ever find yourself wondering if the items, especially plastic, you put in the recycling bin are recyclable? Many people do. And the answer will depend on where you live.

Ashely Krug from the city’s environmental services joins us to explain which plastic is best for recycling right now in Springfield and why.

In Springfield, numbers 1 and 2 and some items labeled 5 are recyclable. Ultimately, Krug says to check with your trash hauler and with your city on what is recyclable in your area.

There are seven categories of plastic. What do all of the #’s mean?

  • 1 – PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – plastic soda bottles, peanut butter jars, etc.
  • 2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – milk jugs, laundry detergent, butter tubs etc.
  • 3 – PVC – Polyvinyl chloride – PVC Pipe
  • 4 – LDPE – low-density polyethylene – squeezable condiment bottles, toys, and plastic films
  • 5 – PP – Polypropylene – syrup, ketchup, and medicine bottles (bottle caps and straws)
  • 6 – PS – Polystyrene – foam, CD cases, take out containers
  • 7 – OTHER – miscellaneous

What can we do?

  • Consider the items you are purchasing and if they can be recycled, reused, or repurposed BEFORE we make the purchase.
  • Remember to make sure materials put into the recycling bin are clean and dry, so the processor has quality material to pass along.

For any questions regarding recycling in Springfield, call the recycling hotline at (417) 864-1904 or visit their website.