America Recycles Day is celebrated each year on Nov. 15, and it’s a good time to get up-to-date on what’s currently being accepted in the City’s blue bag recycling program, as processing and demand for recycled material can change.  

Here’s a list of five often “misunderstood” items that don’t belong in blue bags—please place in the trash: 

  • Paper towels 
  • Plastic bottle caps (or anything else that’s smaller than a credit card) 
  • The “pumps” from lotion/liquid soap/hand sanitizer bottles (they include both metal and plastic parts and cannot be separated by traditional recycling equipment 
  • Plastic bags (Consider donating leftover plastic grocery bags to Network of Community Ministries,, for its Food Pantry program.) 
  • Anything made of Styrofoam, including to-go coffee and drink cups (even most paper to-go cups are not recyclable, as they are lined with a thin plastic coating to prevent leaks, making them impossible to recycle in most recycling machinery) 
  • Used pizza boxes (The stained, greasy bottom of the box is not recyclable, but if the lid is clean and dry, tear it off and include it in recycling.) 

A drive-through blue bag giveaway event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Cottonwood Park, 1301 W. Belt Line Rd. on the median between the pool house and public restrooms; one free roll of blue bags will be available per Richardson household with proof of Richardson residency. Free packets of wildflower seeds will also be distributed while supplies last.  

Free blue bag giveaways: ..