It may surprise all the things you can recycle today. You will see things on this list that you never thought could serve as aesthetic features of importance. Likewise, it will amaze you what can be salvaged, donated or sold locally. And the best part is that the list continues to grow by the year as we find new uses for trash!

Have a look at the list and see how you can start practicing waste management at your home or office. Let’s begin with common household trash.





Paper makes up most of municipal solid waste in our cities and it’s one of the easiest material to recycle. Taking initiative to recycle paper will greatly reduce the amount of paper in our MSW system.

Recyclable Paper Material Non-Recyclable Paper Material  
  • Office Paper
  • Newspapers
  • Catalogs
  • Textbooks
  • Telephone Books
  • Paperboard Boxes
  • Paper Grocery Bags
  • Cardboard
  • Egg Cartons
  • Envelopes
  • Junk Mail
  • Soiled Napkins & Tissues
  • Soiled Paper Towels
  • Pet Food Bags
  • Soiled Paper
  • Wax Paper
  • Plastic-coated Paper
  • Carbon Paper



Recyclable plastics are comprised for seven different types. To find out what type of plastic you are dealing with, simply look on the bottom of the product and locate the recycling symbol.

Recyclable Plastics Non-Recyclable Plastics
  • Soda & Juice Bottles
  • Milk Jugs
  • Plastic Containers
  • Styrofoam Cups & Plates
  • Styrofoam Packing Materials



Aluminum is in high demand right now, making it a precious recycling commodity. Just about all aluminum cans can be recycled. However, there are some metal materials that cannot be recycled.

Recyclable Metals Non-Recyclable Metals
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Clean Tin Cans
  • Scrap Metal
  • Bi-metal Cans
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Cans Containing Chemicals
  • Paint Cans


Some of the best recyclers and salvagers around are our builder and contractor friends. They work every day with items that are either salvaged or recycled. Here’s a list of common waste material at construction and deconstruction sites. If you are a builder or demolition worker, this will help you determine what can be salvaged or recycled.

construction deconstruction recycling salvage

Salvage Items

Salvaging basically means to save a product or material from destruction. For example, in many old buildings and houses you will find old lumber and woodwork that can be extremely valuable in today’s market. In less extreme cases, salvaged goods and materials can simply be saved for later use.

  • Appliances
  • Bathroom Fixtures
  • Bricks
  • Cabinets
  • Carpet
  • Doors
  • Ductwork
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Landscaping Materials
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Marble
  • Metal Framework
  • Paneling
  • Pips
  • Plywood
  • Tile
  • Trim
  • Wood

Recyclable Items For Builders & Contractors

There are many benefits associated with building material recycling, but the most significant is the natural benefit of lowering greenhouse gases, landfill waste and natural resource consumption.

  • Asphalt
  • Carpet
  • Ceiling Tile
  • Ceramic Waste
  • Concrete
  • Countertops
  • Ductwork
  • Ecology Blocks
  • Exterior Sheathing
  • Fiberboard
  • Fiberglass
  • Floor Joists
  • Floor Mats
  • Flooring
  • Lumber
  • Paint
  • Parking Stops
  • Pilings
  • Plastics
  • Roofing
  • Soil
  • Steel
  • Underlayment
  • Wallboard