Recycle Right SC

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Recycle Right SC

Have you ever placed items into your recycling bin without being certain that they can be recycled?

Don’t do it.

“Wishful thinking” damages your recycling program. Placing items into the bin – at the curb or at drop-off sites – that cannot be recycled OR placing recyclable items that are improperly prepared results in:

•    Significant increased costs to local governments to remove the non-recyclables (also called contaminants); and 
•    Disposal of all the items including those could have been recycled.

If costs continue to rise and/or remain high, some local governments may reduce services or eliminate the recycling program.    

The Recycle Right SC campaign – is a partnership between DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and PalmettoPride (South Carolina’s anti-litter organization). The campaign is designed to inform residents on how to properly recycle, why recycling correctly is important, and inspire them to do their part through outreach initiatives, events and local government collaborations. 

Residents can find out what is accepted for recycling in their community and where to take recyclables as well as additional program information at There also is available a Geographic Information System (GIS) interactive map to help residents find the nearest recycling location at

What is contamination?

Contamination occurs when: 
•    Items that cannot be recycled are placed in the recycling container; OR 
•    Items that are recyclable are not properly prepared before being placed into the bin. 

Rope-like items (e.g., hoses, wire, string lights), plastic bags, and shredded paper are examples of non-recyclable items. Recyclables placed in a plastic bag or food left in containers are examples of improperly prepared items. The “Dirty Dozen” describes twelve of the most common contaminants found in the recycling stream. For more information on recycling correctly, visit



Recycle Right SC Dirty Dozen