Recycling Q&A: Can I Put Hangers In My Recycling Bin?

Recycling Q&A: Can I Put Hangers In My Recycling Bin?

  • 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

Whatever materials your coat hangers are made of, chances are they’ll present challenges for disposal when you no longer want them.

Here’s this week’s recycling question from alert recycler Nancy.

Hung Up on Hangers, Beguiled By Bags

Hi Jennifer,

Do you know if any kinds of hangers can be put into recycling (plastic, wire, and the various combos)? I just found out that Goodwill doesn’t want them.

Also, what about the bags that newspapers and produce come in?

— Nancy

What To Do With Hangers

Hi Nancy!

Please do not put ANY hangers in the recycling. No hangers are accepted in the curbside bins. Period.

Plastic hangers

  • If broken, are trash.
  • If reusable, may be accepted at some other thrift stores like Salvation Army.

Also Goodwill stores are independently managed, so it might be worth calling a few different branches to see if they will take them. Always call first to see if they will accept them before you drop them off.

Wire hangers

  • If whole and reusable, can be taken to dry cleaners.

Store owners are usually happy to take them back and reuse them.

Wire hangers that are bent up or unwound or otherwise unusable, can be recycled with scrap metal. Please do not put them in your curbside recycling bin as they create all kinds of havoc at the recycling sorting facilities.

Hangers made from a hybrid of materials

  • Can either be taken to thrift stores.

Call first to see if they will take them) or if beyond use, they go in the trash.

On Newspaper Bags, Produce Bags

These can go in with the plastic bags that you recycle at grocery stores.

The grocery-store program can take a number of different plastic film packaging.

See this page of the Kane County Recycles website for the list.

Plastic bags should NEVER go in your curbside recycling bin.

Thanks for your emails and for your commitment to recycling right!

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