Recycling Tips: Can I Recycle Cash Register Receipts? Used Aluminum Foil? Yogurt Containers?

Recycling Tips: Can I Recycle Cash Register Receipts? Used Aluminum Foil? Yogurt Containers?

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of recycling tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

—–Original Message—–

From: Robert xxxxxxxx [] Subject: 3 questions

I live in Geneva, IL. Three questions:

  1. Should I recycle cash register receipts?
  2. Used in cooking aluminum foil?
  3. Yogurt containers?




From: Jennifer Jarland, Recycling Coordinator
Subject: 3 answers

Dear Robert,

Thanks for asking! These are all common questions, so I am going to share this response with the Kane County Connects newsletter readership.

Thank you for the inspiration for this week’s article!

(1) Cash Register Receipts: No, DO NOT recycle cash register receipts!

Thermal paper receipts are coated with BPA (Bisphenol A — a plastic compound). Because of the plastic coating, receipts cannot be recycled, and if included contaminate paper batches sent to re-manufacturing plants. The safest way to dispose of these receipts is in the landfill trash.

  • Best practice is to go paperless, have a digital receipt emailed to you instead.
  • Further reading: Why you shouldn’t recycle receipts; Thermal receipts contain BPA

(2) Aluminum Foil, used (with potential food residue): Yes, DO recycle used aluminum foil!

This includes sheet aluminum foil, aluminum pie plates, and aluminum trays. Rinse or wipe the food residue off of the foil. Then ball it up into a loose baseball sized shape before recycling.

Small amounts of food residue are OK, but if it is heavily coated, please discard in the trash.

  • Best practice: Reuse the old foil if possible. Lay it flat and wash it with a soapy sponge, rinse clean, dry, fold and store for future reuse again and again. Save money and resources!

(3) Yogurt Containers: Yes, DO recycle yogurt containers.

Yogurt tubs are recyclable in single-stream recycling in this region. Both the small cups with foil lids (recyclable foil, see above) and the larger tubs with plastic lids (lids are not recyclable) can be placed in the recycling once they have been rinsed clean.

Lids are not recyclable because they are thin and flat and are difficult to sort at the material recovery facilities. Therefore. please place them in the trash.

  • Best practice: Buy bulk yogurt in larger containers rather than the single serve portions, and use your own reusable containers for smaller servings in lunch bags.

If you have questions about what you can or cannot recycle, please email them to

SOURCE: Kane County Recycles

Read the ‘Recycling Tips’ Series!