The Association of Plastic Recyclers

What are residential bulky rigid plastics?

Residential bulky rigid plastics are any large rigid #5 PP and/or #2 HDPE plastic bulky items, generated through a positive sort from curbside, drop-off or other public or private recycling collection program. Examples include: crates, buckets, baskets, totes, and lawn furniture. Metal such as axels and bolts should be removed but buckets/pails with metal handles are acceptable.

Bulky Rigids

Collection Options

Thousands of communities throughout the US collect bulky rigid plastics. Local governments and residents have embraced the opportunity to recover this high-volume recyclable plastic through a few different methods.

Curbside Collection

Because convenience is often the key to high volume recycling, collecting bulky rigid plastics at the curb is the preferred collection method for many US communities, and is becoming more common every year. When adding this material to curbside recycling it is critical to fully understand what the MRF/market will accept and communicate this to residents.

Drop-Off Collection

Typically an open top, roll-off container is used to collect bulky rigid plastics at a drop-off site. As with any type of recycling, keeping the material clean of contaminants will help with pricing and market options. Good signage is important to help residents understand which bulky rigids are accepted and which are not.

Special Collections Event

Adding residential bulky rigids to a special collection day is an easy transition, as they would be only one of the many items collected. Electronics, household hazardous waste, and textiles are a few items that are also collected this way. Given that residential bulky plastics are often items such as toys, large buckets, and laundry baskets that are still useable, collecting them at a special collections event provides the opportunity for reuse. Because MRFs may be the ultimate destination for residential bulky rigids collected, they will often provide a roll-off container for collection/transport at special collections.

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