Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

LA Changes Rules for Plastics Recycling

For a while now, we’ve been hearing that the market for recyclable materials has been changing over the last few years, and that even though the city has been collecting a wide variety of plastics for recycling, there may no longer be buyers for those items.

As a result, the city has now changed its recycling rules.  It will still recycle clean paper, cardboard, metal, and glass as usual, but it has reduced the number and types of plastics that can be recycled in our blue bins.  From now on, it will accept only plastic items coded with the numbers 1, 2, and 5.   Items with recycling codes 3, 4, 6, and 7 will no longer be accepted, and should be disposed of in your black trash bin.

To be a bit more descriptive, the numbers generally correspond with the following common plastic types and items (as also shown in the graphic above):

Blue Bins:

1 – PET – Soda and water bottles
2 – HDPE– Laundry soap, lotion, and shampoo bottles; milk jugs
5 – Polypropylene – Retail food containers such as yogurt, butter, margarine (no black microwave meal trays)

Black Bins:

3 – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – clear food wrappings, teething rings, kid and pet toys
4 – LDPE – shrink wrap, dry cleaner bags, plastic shopping bags, squeezable bottles, bread bags
6 – Polystyrene – Disposable cups, utensils, food containers (both rigid and foam), egg cartons, foam packing material
7 – Polycarbonates and LEXAN – water bottles, food containers, Bioplastics (PLA), disposable packaging, utensils, straws, cups, bags, bottles

For more information, see the city’s Blue Bin Recycling page.

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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  1. As a follow up to this article, please do a piece about Ridwell coming to our neighborhood soon. Jon Lagardere will be happy to send you something. Let me contact him.


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