Follow these tips to clean up after Gasparilla weekend

Once the crowd moves on and it is time to clean up after your big Gasparilla party, you may be tempted to toss common party leftovers into the recycle bin. Follow these tips to avoid turning the recycling treasures already in your cart into rubbish:

Walk the Plank (into the trash)

  • Bead necklaces - even plastic beads aren't recyclable in curbside carts and tossing them in waterways or storm drains harms wildlife
  • Disposable cups - these containers break apart easily and don't successfully make it through the recycling sorting process
  • Foam food trays and takeout containers - these items can be taken to special collection bins at your local grocery store
  • Pizza boxes, paper plates, and napkins - these items are generally soaked in food residue
  • Plastic bags, packaging, and film - these tanglers damage recycling sorting equipment and should be trashed or dropped off in special bins at your local grocery store

Recycling Treasure (do not bag recyclables)

  • Clean and empty plastic bottles and containers
  • Clean and empty aluminum cans
  • Clean and empty glass bottles and jars
  • Clean and empty metal food containers
  • Clean and empty milk and juice cartons
  • Dry flattened cardboard
  • Dry Paperboard boxes
  • Dry paper, newspaper, and junk mail

A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, leave it out of the recycling bin. Most residential trash in Hillsborough County is processed into energy at the County's Resource Recovery Facility, so nothing goes to waste.