NOTICE 4/5/2024 @ 7:30am: North Kent Waste & Recycling Center is in the final stretch of its expansion construction. Our recycling drop-off stations at this site have been temporarily moved — click here for the details. Stay tuned here on our website or our social media for updates!

Any hot or cold paper cup is now accepted for recycling in your curbside bin!

Media Resources | Press Release
An estimated 643,000 tons of paper beverage cups are used annually in the U.S. and Canada, and far too many of them end up in landfills. Accepting paper cups for recycling is yet another step towards Kent County Department of Public Works’ vision of reducing landfill waste by 90% by 2030.

Decades have passed since most paper cup manufacturers phased out the old wax coating and clay bottom cups, replacing them with cups coated with a very thin layer of plastic. Today, most cups are coated with polyethylene (PE), and a smaller number coated with polylactic acid (PLA), both of which provide insulation, prevent the paper cup from leaking or absorbing liquid, and help maintain the integrity of the cup’s structure. These layers of plastic can make recycling paper cups problematic but many recycling centers and downstream processors, like papermills, have risen to the challenge with new processes and technology!

Paper cups can be recycled into any post-consumer paper/paperboard/cardboard product such as bathroom tissue paper, cereal and food packaging boxes, cardboard boxes and packaging, and more.

1. Rinse out any beverage or food residue from the paper cup
2. Separate any straws or plastic utensils (not recyclable) as well as lids (recyclable) from the cup.
3. Toss the cup and any plastic lids into the recycling bin

Community Resources

Below you will find businesses and community outlets that may accept this item/material.