Can I Recycle That: Shampoo Bottles

Answer: YES.

Recycle your shampoo and conditioner bottles, but NOT the lids. The City of Tulsa website that lists what can and cannot be recycled does not specify the lids to these bottles may be recycled. DON’T include the LIDS. As you can see in this picture, the lids may sometimes contain metals and other unknown materials that probably are not recyclable.

ZWT got a question on its Facebook page a couple weeks ago about where in Tulsa one can buy shampoo and conditioner by the ounce out of bulk bottles. Embarrassingly, I don’t know the answer to that question (because it’s likely “no where”–but let’s look further, shall we!?). Locating a place in town to buy bulk soaps, including castille, was something I originally set out to do through this blog. Of course, if you’re able to refill your shampoo bottles you won’t need to recycle them!! Let’s hope that will be the case very soon.

Here’s to avoiding that trash!


Can I Recycle That: Plastic utensils 

Answer: No!

In Tulsa, these little guys are not recycled. The only place they can go is in the garbage can.

Try to refuse plastic utensils when getting takeout. Why not carry your own set of utensils with you wherever you go?

Our restaurants go out of their way to please us. Places like Panera get napkin- and utensil-happy for our to-go orders. This causes us to waste, but also costs the restaurant money in supplies. This waste can easily be avoided.

When we are picking up a dozen bagels for the office, the restaurant assumes we need a dozen sets of utensils to accommodate everyone. My office has a set of silverware in the kitchen, so I always refuse the extra utensils when picking up food for my co-workers.

The trick is remembering to refuse. How do you remember to tell the cashier you don’t want the extra plastic?

“Can I Recycle That” Series


In Tulsa, we can recycle a wide variety of items. However, some of us are quick to toss things in our recycling bins that don’t actually belong there. We may think it should be recyclable, but it isn’t. This is a pretty big problem in Tulsa that causes economic and environmental waste. When non-recyclable items end up at the recycling center, it costs tax payers money to sort those items and return them to the appropriate disposal site. Further, it wastes energy, be it fuel or manpower. It is best to get it right at the beginning of the disposal chain. Unfortunately, the City of Tulsa has had to implement a campaign encouraging citizens to “focus on the four” (see photo above) and to remember the motto “when in doubt, throw it out.” The City is taking necessary measures to prevent waste, but this also prevents a lot of items from being recycled. Because of this, ZWT is providing you with the “Can I Recycle That” series. Here you will find guidance as to what you may and may not toss in your recycling bin.

Soon, ZWT will expand this series to include recycling rules for the surrounding municipalities in the Tulsa region.

If you have a recycling question that cannot be answered here, refer to the City of Tulsa’s recycling page. If you still have questions, ask ZWT either by commenting below or sending an email to

Another note about recycling: If you recycle your waste, you should also consume recycled products. This closes the loop of recycling. If the recycled items are not consumed, it was a waste to recycle them in the first place. Read about his here on the City of Tulsa’s website.