The Purpose of Recycling

Recycling protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness, reduces our reliance on landfills and incinerators, prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials, decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change, protects our health and environment when harmful substances are removed from the waste stream, conserves our natural resources because it reduces the need for raw materials, and help sustain the environment for future generations.

State Program Overview

In 2010, Governor Markell signed legislation requiring that curbside recycling be offered by all public and private solid waste collection providers in order to maximize the diversion of recyclables from disposal. By doing so the state will conserve resources and energy, extend the life of the landfills, create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainability.

The Town of Smyrna initiated its recycling program on July 1, 2011.

Recycling & Other State Requirements

No later than September 15, 2011, all persons providing solid waste collection services must provide every single-family customer - as well as customers with on-premise sales of bottled beverages such as restaurants and bars - with single-stream recycling collection service at a frequency of not less than every other week. The service must include delivery of a recyclables storage container that is adequately sized for the customers' use such that recycling is encouraged and disposal is discouraged.

Recyclable items include:

  • Number 1 and Number 2 plastic containers
  • Fiberboard
  • Glass
  • Newspaper
  • Office and mixed paper
  • Cardboard
  • Steel/tin
  • Aluminum cans

Can I Recycle It?

If you are unsure of an item's recyclability, reference the Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's (DNREC) new Delaware Recycling search engine, Recyclopedia. You can search your location, check out the A to Z topics, and find solutions on what's recyclable, what isn't, and what to do.

For more information regarding items that are not accepted in single-stream recycling, please download the How to Recycle - A Guide to Recycling In Delaware Booklet (PDF) from the State of Delaware website or visit the Earth 911 website.

Remember: ALL items placed in recycling must be loose, empty, clean, and dry. Bagged recycling will not be accepted.

Want Recyclopedia on your phone? View the Mobile Shortcut Guide to see how you can add it to your device's homescreen.

Acceptable to Recycle Curbside
Must Be Dropped-Off 
(see Recyclopedia)
Not Acceptable to Recycle
Empty Aerosol CansAluminum/Steel CansBubble WrapBottle Caps
Building Materials
Aluminum Foil/PansBerry ContainersChild's Car Seat
Candle Jars
Beverage/Food CartonsCardboardElectronics
Chemical Containers
Chip CansCookie TinsHousehold Batteries
Dixie Cups
Frozen Food Packaging
Soap BottlesEnvelopesOil Filters
Glass Drinkware
Hardcover Books
Glass bottles/jarsMagazinesPlastic Planters
Ice Cream Container
NewspapersPaper PackagingRechargeable Batteries
Paper Cups/Plates
Paper w/ Crayon
Paperback booksPlastic Take-Out ContainersStyrofoam
Refrigerated Food Boxes (Paper)
Tea Bags & Tea Bag Wrappers
Plastics 1, 2, 4, 5, & 7Wrapping PaperThin Plastic
TiresTissue Paper
Items acceptable for recycling in Delaware
Items not acceptable for recycling in Delaware

Have you taken the Recycling Pledge?

DSWA invites youth to sign their pledge to "recycle the present to save the future"! Upload your pledge HERE and view others who have signed the pledge.