To paraphrase the Joe Cocker song, apparently “you can leave your cap on.”
Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland wants to make sure that everyone knows to put plastic caps back onto plastic bottles, like water bottles, before recycling them.
Plastic caps (small, round, screw-top caps) can be screwed back onto empty plastic bottles and jugs for recycling.
Plastic lids (thin, flat, snap-on lids) from plastic tubs are not recyclable because they pop off in transit and are not able to be sorted at the sorting facility. They end up as a contaminate in the paper bales because they are flat like paper so should please be thrown away before recycling the tub.
Metal caps and lids (usually on glass bottles) can be recycled loose; do not reattach to the glass bottle. Metal caps are picked out of the mix with magnets at the sorting facilities. For a full list of materials accepted in your household recycling, please see this page on Kane County Recycles.