Recycling Facts

Recycling Facts!

Kitchen Recyclables

Your kitchen is one of the most used rooms in your home and often has the most products laying around. Did you know that most of those products can be recycled? From spice containers to milk jugs and soup cans, recycling your most common kitchen items has never been easier with streamlined residential recycling programs from Curbside Rewards Program in Omaha and RecycleLink in Lincoln. Their single-stream recycling system allows you to simply put any and all recyclable items in your recycling bin for pickup. No sorting required!

Recycling just one aluminum can has the ability to power a DVD player and a TV for four hours. Imagine what all the items in your kitchen can do when they are recycled.

Americans buy an estimated 42.6 billion single-serving plastic water bottles each year. Nearly eight out of ten end up in a landfill. Hundreds of millions end up on the side of the road as litter or in rivers and lakes. Recycling plastic water bottles or other plastic beverage bottles is one simple way to help save the environment. Around 900 thousand tons of polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic bottles are recycled each year but more than two times as much was wasted.

First Star Recycling wants you to recycle plastic bottles, plastic containers and other kitchen products. First Star Recycling partners with residential recycling programs in Omaha and Lincoln that offer weekly curbside pickup services for less than $10 a month! Recycling bins are available for Omaha and Lincoln residents so they can easily recycle plastics and other kitchen products.

However, when it comes to recycling plastics, not all plastic items can be recycled. If the plastic appears to be soft plastic, such as saranwrap, bread bags, or other plastic bags, it is NOT recyclable at First Star Recycling. Soft plastics can jam our recycling cleaning machines and processing machines. Please try to recycle all soft plastic bags by taking them to your local grocery store and dropping them off at their recycling drop-off area.

What can I recycle from my kitchen?


When it comes to plastic recycling, not all plastics can be recycled. Soft plastics like saranwrap and plastic bags can easily get tangled in machinery and can cause the recycling plant to freeze up operation. However most hard plastics from the kitchen can be recycled.

Items around your kitchen that can be recycled include:

  • Aluminum bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Brown paper bag
  • Butter containers
  • Cardboard boxes from cereal, crackers, frozen entrees, pop boxes, etc.
  • Cat litter bucket
  • Clamshell deli containers
  • Coffee containers
  • Egg Cartons
  • Empty Pizza Boxes
  • Glass bottles (only at drop off locations, not at residential curbside pick-up)
  • Ice cream containers
  • Juice and milk cartons
  • Juice bottles
  • Microwave plastic containers
  • Milk cartons (lids too)
  • Pasta and food boxes
  • Plastic bottles (lids too)
  • Plastic containers
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic Tupperware
  • Salad dressing bottle
  • Snap top containers
  • Soup cans
  • To-go plastic containers
  • Yogurt tubs and other similar plastic containers

At First Star Recyling, we currently DO NOT accept the following items for curbside pick-up:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Clear plastic packaging (wrap around a case of water and toilet paper)
  • Containers containing food
  • Glass containers of any kind
  • Plastic bags; grocery bags, bread bags, cereal bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, produce bags, and plastic lunch “baggies”
  • Plastic tableware (utensils, straws and plates)
  • Styrofoam

Check out the Curbside Rewards Program in Omaha and RecycleLink in Lincoln to learn more about recycling materials used in the kitchen!

Bathroom Recyclables

Before recycling toiletries, make sure they are empty and do not contain any sort of soft plastic such as plastic packaging. Soft plastics (like plastic grocery bags) can get caught in recycling machinery, and even freeze up our recycling operation! Contrary to popular belief, your toiletry recyclables don’t need to be spotlessly cleaned before you can recycle them. Our recycling center in Omaha cycles each plastic item through a thorough process that ensures each product will come out cleaner than it went in.

Recyclable toiletries & containers include:

  • Body wash bottles
  • Cardboard packaging (toothpaste boxes, soap boxes, toilet paper tubes, etc.)
  • Cleaning solution bottles
  • Conditioner bottles
  • Detergent bottles
  • Empty pill and medicine bottles (Please place INSIDE larger recyclable bottles)
  • Hair care products – hair gel tubes, hairspray bottles
  • Kleenex boxes
  • Lotion bottle (pump and no pump)
  • Mouthwash bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Soap dispenser
  • Spray bottle

Did you know that it takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared to using ‘virgin’ materials to make a plastic bottle? With that in mind, recycling plastic bottles that are empty is a great way to help save the environment and also increase production times for producing new recycled items. Recycled toiletry bottles can be made into made into new bottles, as well as t-shirts, fleeces, furniture and toys!

Garage and Storage Recyclables

A UCLA study found that 3 out of every 4 garages in America are too full to hold a car! If you are looking to get rid of some clutter in your garage or store room, there are probably many items that you should recycle with a local curbside pickup program! First Star partners with Curbside Rewards Program in Omaha and RecycleLink in Lincoln for residential recycling to makes it simple to recycle those items with our large single-stream recycling bins. Our single-stream recycling system allows you to simply put any and all recyclable items in your recycling bin for pickup, without sorting them first!

Items that can be recycled from your garage are:

  • Cardboard boxes (flattened)
  • Empty and dry paint cans
  • Empty tin cans
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic buckets
  • ** Lids and labels can remain on metal recycling products. There’s no need to completely clean your recyclables before putting them in the bin, as our machines take all metals through multiple cleaning cycles.

Due to safety regulations, First Star Recycling and partner programs CANNOT accept any steel or aluminum cans that have had motor oils or other automotive substances in them. When automotive substances get into our system, all other recyclables are damaged as toxins are released into the other products creating unsafe gases and toxins for our bodies. Please do not recycle old tires or oil cans in your Omaha curbside recycling bin. These not only harm the environment but they can also tear apart our machinery.

At First Star Recycling, we only accept garage supplies that can be placed within your curbside recycling bin. However, appliances such as old lawn mowers and garage door parts can still be recycled, just not through a curbside pick-up program. Other items found around your garage that CANNOT be recycled with First Star Recycling curbside program are kid’s playsets, plastic chairs, trash containers, large storage bins and other ‘bulky’ items. To recycle bigger items, take them to a recycling center or drop-off location to have them properly recycled.

Check out the Curbside Rewards Program in Omaha and RecycleLink in Lincoln to learn more about recycling