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Are bottle caps recyclable?

Plastic Bottle Cap RecyclingPlastic Bottle Cap Recycling
UPDATE:  Bottle caps are now recyclable, usually.  Call your local recycling center for more details.

Think twice before throwing that bottle cap into your recycling bin.  Bottle caps can actually be difficult to recycle and I suggest you contacting your city's recycling center before recycling them. 

Plastic Bottle Caps

Plastic bottles and bottle caps are usually made from different types of plastic, so even if they can both be recycled , they may need to be separated first.   Explains Darby Hoover, resource specialist for the NRDC:  “You can probably improve the chances of the bottle—and possibly the cap, but at least the bottle—getting recycled if you take off the cap. This also allows the bottle to dry out some."    

If your city doesn't recycle the caps, be sure to take them off and discard of them elsehwere.  Caps that can't be recycled can be a huge problem - they can jam recycling machinery or if they get mixed in with a batch of another type of plastic, it can contimatate the entire batch.  Bad news.  

If your city doesn't accept them, you may still be in luck.   Aveda (yes, the cosmetic company!) collects plastic bottles caps for recycling.  Some Whole Foods locations also take them as part of the Preserve Gimme 5 program.  

You can also upcycle them or keep them around for kid's art projects!  

Beer Bottle Caps

Beer bottle caps are recyclable.  (But there are tons of creative ways to upcycle them!)

But as always...reduce, reuse (like the upcycling ideas), and then recycle as a last resort.  When possible, don't drink bottled water and try to make your own seltzer or soda.