Rigid Plastics Recycling
Orange County collects large non-bottle rigid plastics for recycling at Solid Waste Convenience Centers only. You can recycle small rigid plastics such as #,2 4 and 5 tubs, cups and buckets (and all plastic bottles) the curb, at apartment complexes, or commercial recycling programs, or at the 24-hour recycling drop-off sites. The purple dumpsters at the Waste and Recycling Centers accept small rigids as well as larger items listed below. Look for the purple roll-off containers
Rigid plastics are defined in Orange County as#2 HDPE, #4 LDPE, and #5 PP non-bottle plastics and include the following items: Plastic buckets, cups and tubs, drums (empty), flower pots (must be larger than one pint), nursery trays (must be rigid, no soft bubble packs), lawn furniture (no PVC #3), laundry baskets, dish drainers, garbage cans, recycling bins, milk crates, soda crates, pet carriers, stadium cups, plastic toys, all totes and tote lids.
When recycling rigid plastics please follow these important rules:
Rigid plastics be empty and clean, free of dirt and food residue. When possible please remove metal such as screws, axles and bucket handles.
NO non-bottle plastics #1, #3, #6, #7.
NO plastic bags.
No clear plastic PET#1 or PLA#7 clam-shell take out/fruit and lettuce containers.
No battery operated toys (recycle these with electronics)
No metal! This includes toys with axles such as wagons and "Big Wheels". Please remove metal grates from pet carriers and metal handles from buckets when possible. We want the buckets!
Do not recycle plastic bottles in the purple dumpsters! The "Rigid Plastics" collection is specifically for plastics that are NOT bottles. Recycle bottles with single stream mixed recycling in the blue containers at drop-off sites, at the curb, or at apartment complexes.
Over-sized items such as plastic playground slides, plastic playhouses, kiddie pools, or large plastic drums (both ends removed) can be accepted at Walnut Grove Convenience Center only. This center has an open box as opposed to the others with small windows for deposit.
Rigid plastics are recycled to make new plastic pots and buckets, plastic pipe and other products. Orange County sells the rigid plastics we collect to a market located in North Carolina. They tell us what kinds of plastics they can use, and we pass those rules on to you. The following are images of the wide range of items that fit the category "rigid plastics".