What can you throw in the yellow sorting bin?

Environmental awareness occupies a huge place in today’s world. Sorting waste has become a daily act anchored in habits. Faced with the growing challenges posed by pollution and overconsumption, selective sorting represents a crucial step towards a more sustainable future.

Among the different colored trash cans that adorn our streets, the yellow sorting trash can stands out as those responsible for conserving recyclable materials. As a result, it offers an opening towards reducing the carbon footprint as well as an opportunity for the preservation of natural resources.

Find out here everything you need to know about the yellow sorting bin, including the elements that belong there, the advantages of this ecological gesture and the common mistakes to avoid.

The benefit of selective sorting in reducing waste

Selective sorting, the cornerstone of eco-responsible waste management, has established itself as one of the most efficient means in the fight against increasingly growing environmental pollution. To this end, the yellow sorting bin stands as a tangible symbol of a lasting commitment to safeguarding the environment.

Indeed, the selective sorting, consists of collecting and separating different types of waste according to their constituent material. This strategic separation aims to channel recyclable materials into specific processing lines, where they can be transformed into new resources rather than being relegated to landfills. Sorting, by extension, functions as a key process in the circular economy cycle, which encourages reuse and recycling to minimize the demand for new raw materials.

It is with this in mind that sorting of packaging using the yellow sorting bin has been introduced. The yellow sorting bin now occupies a crucial place in this process. Plastic, metal and cardboard packaging essentially account for most waste which must be thrown there. These latter constitute a significant share of waste generated in the majority of communities, more especially in different households.

Consequently, rigorous selective sorting of different waste would undeniably contribute to reducing the environmental impact of these materials as well as to preserving our limited resources.

Difference between general trash and sorting trash

The trash can, whether it is all-purpose or sorting, embodies an essential interface between our consumption habits and our commitment to the environment. These everyday receptacles are much more than simple containers; they reflect our attitude towards waste management and our responsibility towards the planet.

There trash can, often familiar under his gray coat, is a final destination for waste that is not specifically intended for recycling. She collects a variety of items, from leftover meals to plastic products that aren’t recyclable.

On the other hand, the sorting bin, including the yellow sorting bin, for example, is reserved specifically for recycling waste. Often featuring bright colors, it represents the opportunity to give a second life to the materials we use every day. Plastic, metal and cardboard packaging that finds its place in the sorting bin are links in the chain of the circular economy. Rather than being lost in landfills, they are collected, sorted and transformed into new resources, reducing the impact on nature.

The sorting bin also highlights the importance of individual and collective responsibility. By correctly sorting materials while avoiding sorting errors and eliminating contaminants, each individual actively participates in preserving the environment. Each plastic packaging or aluminum can placed in the sorting bin is a step towards reducing pollution and conserving natural resources. Furthermore, whether it is general trash or sorting, each of them has a lasting impact.

Waste allowed in the yellow sorting bin

The yellow sorting bin, with its characteristic badge, is a springboard towards a more sustainable future. Within it, it accommodates a wide variety of elements which have the potential to benefit from new lives thanks to recycling. Here is a brief description of all categories of items commonly accepted into the yellow sorting bin as well as an overview of how each material can be transformed into valuable resources.

Plastic waste

Plastic is an extremely versatile material whose presence is the majority in almost all aspects of everyday life. Indeed, it is found in a multitude of everyday objects. Furthermore, despite its omnipresence, plastic is one of the most problematic materials in terms of waste management. This is why it is important to ensure correct sorting of plastic packaging.

In addition, their recycling promotes the transformation of the latter into new products, thus reducing dependence on virgin raw materials. Generally, plastic waste can be transformed in textile fibers, fleece fabrics or even new packaging, thus closing the loop in the plastic life cycle. However, not all plastics are created with the same basic chemical materials. As a result, only plastic packaging bearing resin codes such as PET, i.e. polyethylene terephthalate, and HDPE, i.e. high density polyethylene, are allowed in the yellow sorting bin.

Thus, in terms of plastic bottles only water, juice, soda and other plastic beverage bottles can be thrown into the yellow sorting bin. You just need to make sure to remove the caps and dispose of them separately. However, some recycling centers also accept plastic caps. Regarding food packaging, yogurt pots, plastic trays and packaging for food products such as cheese are allowed in the yellow sorting bin.

However, it is recommended that these packaging be cleaned beforehand to avoid possible contamination. In the category of beauty product bottles, the yellow sorting bin can only accommodate: bottles of shampoo, shower gel, lotion, as well as other recyclable plastic personal care products. It is recommended to empty and clean these bottles before throwing them away.

As to plastic bag and plastic film, their presence is also approved in the yellow sorting bin but it all depends on the region. Furthermore, make sure to group them in a single bag to prevent them from getting tangled in the sorting machines.

Metal packaging

Metal packaging, particularly aluminum cans or steel cans, are highly desirable in the yellow sorting bin. Indeed, adequate sorting of metal packaging contributes particularly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and incidentally to the extension of the lifespan of these materials for more useful purposes. THE metal packaging are highly recyclable and have the particularity of being transformed into new products without losing their essential properties. Rightly, they are ranked among the most important materials to recycle because they can be melted down, then transformed into new products without significant loss of quality.

Among the metal packaging that is thrown into the yellow sorting bin are aluminum cans, for example. THE aluminum recycling requires considerably less energy than production from raw materials. Steel cans typically used for canned foods, such as vegetables and soups, are also approved for disposal in the yellow recycling bin. However, it is important to rinse them in order to eliminate any possible food residue before disposing of them.

Cardboard packaging

THE cardboard packaging, commonly used for food products and drinks, can also find their place in the yellow sorting bin. Cardboard recycling processes are well established, and sorting these materials saves resources and minimizes the amount of waste ending up in landfills.

However, it is important to note that not all types of cardboard are accepted. Cardboards soiled with food residue or other contaminants can disrupt the recycling process and should be avoided.

However, cardboard, often used to package food, drinks and other products, is authorized in the yellow sorting bin because it is easy to recycle and transform into a new resource. The cardboard packaging that is generally accepted in the yellow sorting bin is primarily the cardboard boxes used for cereals, pasta, electronic products and many others. They must be folded flat to save space in the sorting bin.

Then there are cartons used for dairy products, juices and other drinks which are also accepted. However, it is essential to follow any specific instructions concerning the recycling of plastic caps written on each carton. Finally, it is the cardboard packaging used for juices, milk and other drinks that can often be recycled. Make sure they are completely emptied before throwing them in the sorting bin.

Common mistakes to avoid when sorting in the yellow sorting bin

Although sorting may seem simple, frequent mistakes can compromise the effectiveness of the recycling process and lead to contamination of recyclable materials. Understanding these errors is essential to ensure adequate selective sorting while allowing the yellow sorting bin to fulfill its role in reducing waste. Here is a non-exhaustive list of products prohibited in the yellow sorting bin

Non-recyclable products

One of the most common mistakes is to throw away non-recyclable products in the yellow sorting bin. It is :

  • Non-recyclable plastics
  • Glass products
  • Organic waste
  • Batteries

In fact, certain types of plastics, such as chemical product packaging, plastic toys and disposable utensils, are not accepted in the yellow sorting bin. To avoid these errors it is recommended to check the resin codes on the packaging to determine their recyclability. Glass should never be thrown into the yellow sorting bin. It must instead be placed in the collection bins specific to glass. The same goes for food waste, garden leftovers and other organic materials. These are prohibited in the yellow sorting bin because they can contaminate recyclable materials. Cells and batteries are known for their content of substances harmful to the environment. For this reason, they must therefore be placed at appropriate collection points for secure recycling.


In addition to non-recyclable products, contaminants are a major source of problems in selective sorting. When inappropriate items are thrown into the yellow sorting bin, they contaminate recyclable materials and make the recycling process more difficult. Here are some examples of contaminants to avoid:

Soiled products

Packaging soiled with food residue, grease or other substances can contaminate other recyclable materials. They are not absolutely suitable for the yellow sorting bin. It is for this purpose that it is recommended to rinse the packaging before throwing it away.

Labels and stickers not removed

Plastic labels and stickers can disrupt sorting machines. Remove them from the packaging before throwing them into the yellow sorting bin.

Threads and strings

Metal wires, strings and ties can become wrapped around sorting equipment and cause problems that delay or prevent the effective recycling of waste. It is essential to remove these items from the packaging before throwing them away.

Unemptied liquid containers

Unemptied liquid containers can cause leaks and contaminate other recyclable materials. Empty them before throwing them into the yellow sorting bin.

The consequences of contamination

Contamination of recyclable materials has significant consequences on the recycling process. Processing facilities must spend more time and resources to sort contaminated materials, which can result in reduced quality of recycled materials and increased costs. Additionally, contaminated materials may end up being rejected from the recycling process and sent to landfills, negating efforts to reduce waste. overall selective sorting process. It is therefore essential to avoid common sorting errors in order to maximize recycling efficiency and preserve the value of recyclable materials. For this you must adopt good sorting practices, in order to participate in the fight for waste reduction and environmental protection. It is absolutely important that