Ask Wes: Milk Cartons

Answering common landfill questions.

Jenn W asks: “Where do I put my milk cartons?”

In the fridge! Joking aside it’s an excellent question. Milk cartons are one of the most misplaced items in the recycling stream. Milk cartons as well as juice boxes and other “polycoat” products go into the fibers/paper recycling bin. Please remember to rinse these items and remove straws and other plastics.

(Update on April 30: A previous version of this column said lids should be removed but should have said that it is helpful to crush your cartons and put the lid back on so you can fit more materials into your fibre bin. Having the cap on your cartons will also ensure water does not leak out into your fibre bin after rinsing.)

While we are talking about paper there are a few other commonly misplaced items. Toilet paper tissues and paper towels are not recyclable and belong with the regular household garbage. Paper/tin combination items like some ground coffee frozen juice and the potato chip tubes also belong in household garbage.

As always please check your local municipality’s website for more information and if you’re ever unsure about where to put an item please ask your landfill attendant!

This is Wes saying: “No one can do it alone but together we can change the world!”

Wes is the adopted gorilla who lives at the West Guilford landfill. He says he loves it when people wave to him as he greets them at the gate.

Do you have a recycling question? Email it to with the subject line: Ask Wes.