Jersey City has announced a changed regarding its recycling program.  The city is now accepting Number 5 Plastics.  Residents are now allowed to add plastics with resin code #5 with their other recycling items for curbside pickup.  Plastics with resin codes #1 and #2 were previously part of the recycling pickups permitted.

The city reminds residents to keep these plastics separate from paper and cardboard pickups.  They should not be placed in bags, but loose in containers.

5” signifies polypropylene (PP) (auto parts, industrial fibers, food containers, etc.).  #5 plastics are generally considered safe, but you should be weary of putting them in the microwave, even if they are labeled “microwave-safe”.

The recycling symbol on the bottom of a plastic product does not necessarily indicate that the item can be recycled. That number surrounded by chasing arrows is a resin identification code and tells users what kind of plastic they’re holding.

The number 5 with the recycling symbol indicates polypropylene, often just shortened to PP.

Number 5 plastic resin code
The resin identification code for polypropylene, commonly known as number 5 plastic

This plastic type is particularly hard and heat resistant. It’s often used in prescription medicine bottles, yogurt cups, hummus tubs, single-use cutlery, and some packaging for personal care products like deodorant, lotion, or shampoo. Lids of single-use drink bottles are often also made of number 5 plastic as well as a great deal of single-use laboratory and medical supplies at hospitals, clinics, and labs.