No More Plastic Tubs-- Eugene Puts Restrictions On What's Recyclable

Apr 9, 2018

Eugene has made changes to what it accepts in your recycling bin. The changes, effective Monday (April 9, 2018) are in response to fluctuations in the international market for plastics.

Plastic tubs, like those for yogurt and cottage cheese are no longer acceptable for recycling in the City of Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

China has raised their standards for what they’ll accept from the West coast. Michael Wisth is Waste Prevention and Building Analyst with the City of Eugene.
“Particularly with plastics, these materials that we put in our co-mingle that really have no place to go right now. The cost to process them has gone up to make them cleaner and to sort out the recyclables from the non-recyclables. And the market’s depressed. So you have increased cost with lower market for these materials.”

Credit City of Eugene

Wisth says for years people have been putting things in recycling bins that are not really acceptable. Now, the city will no longer take plastic tubs, any plastics with the number 3 through 7, or aseptic containers, like those for milk and orange juice.
These changes are for recycling within the City of Eugene.
You can find out more at

Items that are no longer accepted in our recycling stream:

    Plastic tubs will no longer be accepted in our recycling.
    Plastic items numbered #3 through #7 are no longer allowed.
    Aseptic containers, previously allowed by some haulers, will no longer be accepted. This includes paper cartons, such as for milk and orange juice.
    Shredded paper is no longer allowed.

Other items of frequent contamination that are still not allowed include:

    Plastic bags and plastic films of all kinds
    Rigid plastics, such as take-out food containers and berry clamshells
    Lids, such as from bottles, jars, and metal cans
    Soiled cardboard and paper
    Flower pots

Acceptable items to recycle:


    Newspaper, including ads and inserts
    Corrugated cardboard boxes
    Direct mail
    Cereal, cracker & shoe boxes (chipboard)
    Office paper—copier and printer paper, file folders, note paper, computer paper, brochures
    Magazines & catalogs
    Paperboard/cardboard egg-cartons


    Steel (tin) cans
    Aluminum cans
    Clean foil balls, fist-sized or larger


    Only the following plastic bottles and jugs: #1 PET & #2 HDPE soda bottles, water bottles, milk jugs, orange juice bottles & jugs

When Changes Go Into Effect: Haulers will begin educating customers and implementing the new changes starting April 9th.
Where: This change affects residents in the City of Eugene.