What should I do with orange or green pill bottles? – Kane County connects

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a Q&A series of recycling tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Do you have a question or an idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or [email protected]

I often get this question.

And while you might not like the short and immediate response, please read the entire article. Because there are ways to recycle properly.

Q: Can I recycle Little Orange (or Green) prescription vials?

Hey, Jen! What should we do with those orange (and sometimes green) prescription drug bottles that we get from the pharmacy?

A: Unfortunately, they CANNOT fit in your curbside recycling cart!

These bottles should not go in the recycling basket because the type of plastic that prescription bottles are made from is not highly recyclable and does not have positive value in the recycling product market.

In addition, they are too small to be sorted with the current separation technology used in material recovery facilities (MRF). Anything smaller than a small fist is likely to fall through the cracks of FRRs and cannot be recycled.

However, this causes us to rethink and reorient! Pill bottles CAN be reused for a variety of things like herbs and spices, beads, hardware, paper clips or made into cool little gifts. See this great information on many ways to reuse your pill bottles.

Or if you are adamant about recycling – TerraCycle has a courier in zero waste box which includes this kind of bottles.

This article on the partnership says Jewel-Osco pharmacies in the Chicago area are taking back prescription pill bottles for the same recycling program. I didn’t have time to call them all to confirm, so please call before delivery.

I also wanted to share the news that the Albertsons companies, which include JewelOsco and Safeway, in partnership with plastic lumber manufacturers Trex, have also made a pledge to plastics. recycle plastic films (bags and packaging) and delivery packaging (bubble envelopes).

To see this poster for the types of plastic acceptable in their program.

Q: What about over-the-counter medications and vitamin bottles?

A: Most of them are recyclable!

With the exception of very small or black plastic bottles, over-the-counter drugs and vitamin bottles can fit in your car on the curb. As long as they are clean and empty, you can put the lid back on and recycle these types of containers at will.

Read more recycling Q&A stories!


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