AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may be one of the hundreds, or thousands, of recyclers who may not understand what plastics can or cannot be recycled. You’re not alone.

Recycling plastics creates confusion trying to figure out what PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS all mean. Combine with the numbers that appear inside the recycle icon and you have a recipe for indecision.

Rich Segal spoke with Paul Bestgen from Austin Resource Recovery about what plastics the city takes. He said that recycling in general can be confusing, because there are different rules regarding what materials are recyclable. He added that a lot of basic plastics are accepted in Austin.

Water bottles, plastic cups, plastic milk jugs and yogurt cups are some of the containers that Austin Resource Recovery does accept.

What about those plastic drinking cups that one gets at a fast food restaurant, those with numbers like five or seven? Paul recommends that questions like this, and many others can be answered with the What I Do With tool at It’s a good way to find out the city takes or what you can drop off at the recycle facility in southeast Austin.

Those numbers, Bestgen said, can often be confusing because, some #5 plastics can be recycled and others can’t. He adds that those red solo cups, # 6, are accepted in Austin in the blue recycle containers.

More recycling information from the city is available at