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Can I Recycle … plastic wrappers around sandwich meats and cheeses?

May 27, 2011 |  6:59 am


The plastic wrappers around sandwich meats, hot dogs and cheeses are typically made from low-density polyethylene, or plastic No. 4. Some cheeses may also be wrapped in Saran wrap, a thin, clingy plastic sheet made of polyethylene.

Though most meat and cheese wrappers are not marked with recycling symbols, Saran and low-density polyethylene wrappers can both be recycled in L.A.’s blue bin as long as they are clean, dry and free of food. Plastic wrappers that contain any food material reduces or eliminates its recyclability; wrappers containing even trace amounts of food should be treated as trash and placed in the black bin.

Because policies and recommendations can vary from city to city, each week we ask a sampling of officials from various municipalities to weigh in. Can I recycle plastic wrappers around sandwich meats and cheese in ...

Arcadia: Yes
Burbank: Not curbside. Clean wrappers can be placed in the mixed plastics bin at the Burbank Recycle Center
Glendale: No
Los Angeles: Yes, if clean and dry
Riverside: Yes
Santa Barbara: Yes, if clean
Santa Monica: No
Torrance: No
Unincorporated Los Angeles: No
Ventura: No

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo by Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times



(Each week, we explain the recycling potential for an item that might be confusing. Here are some previous Can I Recycle topics.)

Store receipts?

Milk cartons?

Pizza boxes?

Post-it Notes?


Bottle caps?

Wine corks?

Ziploc bags

Plastic mesh citrus bags