Single Stream Recycling


On Jan 2, 2004, St. Joseph County households may use a single recycling bin for all their recyclable materials. The Single Stream curbside recycling program allows for the collection of all recyclable materials, containers and paper fiber all mixed together. This gives the hauler the option to collect all the recyclable materials together in a single compartment collection vehicle. 

Single stream collection allows a greater quantity of recyclable materials to be picked up at a faster collection rate. The processing technology used by our vendor successfully separates, recovers, and markets all recyclable materials collected from 'single stream' collection programs.


The following common types of containers are accepted:

  • #7 plastic resin grocery narrow neck containers only
  • 1 to 5 gallon plastic buckets/pails: food, beverage, pet and or cleaners empty and rinsed clean
  • Aluminum cans, trays, and foil (trays and foil must be clean and free of all food residue)
  • Aseptic packaging and gable top containers (milk and juice cartons)
  • Flexible plastic flower flats and small plastic bush container pots - no rigid plastic plant pots
  • Glass bottles and jars: green, clear, brown - no window glass, dinnerware or ceramics
  • HDPE detergent and fabric softener containers (#2 colored plastic resin)
  • HDPE milk and juice jugs (#2 clear plastic resin)
  • LDPE grocery containers (#4 plastic resin) such as margarine tubs, frozen desert cups, six and 12 pack rings
  • PET soda, water, and flavored beverage bottles (#1 clear and green plastic resin)
  • PP grocery containers (#5 plastic resin) such as yogurt cups, narrow neck syrup and ketchup bottles
  • PVC narrow neck containers only (#3 plastic resin) such as health and beauty aid products, household cleaners
  • Steel cans and tins

Paper Fiber

  • Cardboard (no waxed cardboard)
  • Carrier stock (soda and beer can carrying cases)
  • Chipboard (cereal, cake and food mix boxes, gift boxes, etc.)
  • Junk mail and envelopes (no plastic cards, stick on labels or unused stamps)
  • Kraft (brown paper) bags
  • Magazines, catalogs, telephone books, books
  • Newspaper, including inserts (remove outer plastic sleeves)
  • Office, computer, notebook, and gift wrap paper (no metal clips, spirals, binders)

Recycling Policies & Procedures

  1. All containers to be emptied and rinsed clean and caps and lids removed.
  2. No motor oil, insecticide, herbicide or hazardous chemical containers.
  3. No grocery or department store plastic bags. Return to area stores, where available.
  4. No plastic film (no plastic sheets, tarps or wrap.)
  5. Expanded foam and clear polystyrene (#6 plastic resin) are not accepted items and are not recommended per joint advisory from the Illinois Recycling Association, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, and Region 5 U.S. EPA.
  6. Please refer to the list of Accepted Recycling Materials and Unaccepted Recycling Materials to know what should not be included with commingled containers.