The ABCs of Recycling Baby Items


Babies come with lots of laughs, joy – and stuff! Take a quick peek down any shop’s baby aisle and you’ll see boxes, bottles and jars full of stuff babies need. Since new parents need their sleep, we’ll make it easy for you to streamline your recycling process. Reminder- DIAPERS NEVER GO IN YOUR RECYCLING!

Here are common baby-related items and where they can go when you’ve finished with them:

Boxes and Paper

All those cardboard boxes and paper from diapers and food boxes can go right into the recycling bin, but make sure to flatten the boxes to maximize room. But tissue paper, paper towels, and tissues are a different story and not recyclable. These types of “paper” typically don’t hold up well enough to become something new in the recycling process, which means you want to put them in the trash or into a food waste composting program if available

Plastic Bottles and Containers

Laundry jugs, plastic jugs, snack containers, plastic formula jugs and water bottles are recycling musts!  Make sure they are empty and dry and screw the caps back on before placing in your recycling bin.   A lot of baby food now comes in squeeze pouches, which while they are plastic, are not readily recyclable and should be disposed of in your trash.

Glass Jars and Bottles

Glass is an infinitely recyclable item, but not every program takes it. Check with your local recycling program to make sure yours does. If glass is accepted in your recycling program, all jars and containers that contained food need to be rinsed before they head to the recycle bin.

Reuse, Not Recycle

Donate Clothing and Toys

Many items in this section can be reused or relocated, but that’s not the same as recycling. Recycling is a specific remanufacturing process designed for efficiently handling cardboard, paper, plastic bottles and glass.

As baby gets bigger and bigger, you may find yourself surrounded by outgrown clothing, furniture, gear and toys. Regardless of what it’s made out of, these types of items can’t go into the standard recycling cart.  But they can still go to good use. Donating outgrown clothing, furniture and toys in good condition is an excellent way to pass along items, and some cities and agencies make it super easy with scheduled pickups or drop-off centers.  Check locally for stores or groups that accept household goods for reuse.


Target stores offer a Car Seat Trade-In Program usually twice a year, where they take back child car seats you no longer need in exchange for a discount coupon.   Other gear, like strollers, can be donated to shelters or local agencies for redistributing to people in need in your community.

As humans, albeit small ones, babies generate a lot of waste, but luckily much of it is recyclable.  Remember to recycle cardboard, paper and plastic bottles and check locally on glass.  Your actions matter and pave the way for a brighter future.

Take the Pledge!

If you’re a new parent, choose to recycle. Show your support by signing the pledge to recycle more in your home and community.

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