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iRecycle Smart

iRecycleSmart recycling bin

A joint initiative between Charles County Public Schools and Charles County Government. Read More

iRecycle Smart has been developed to reduce contamination of recycled materials. A contaminated bale is when 100% of the recycle load goes to waste because it's mixed with too many of the wrong things. The most problematic recycling issue is food contamination.

The goal is to keep the materials as clean as possible to make sure what we collect can actually be recycled.   When in doubt, throw it out.

The problem

  • Wishcycling. The idea that if an item goes in the recycle bin, then it gets recycled. It won't, when in doubt, throw it out. Wishcycling costs workers time by having to hand pick items that don't belong and in turn, costs the facility money.
  • Recycling the wrong types of plastics. Plastic bags, plastic silverware, Ziplocs, plastic films, and straws will cause significant damage to the machinery, hold contaminates and will have to be manually removed. If plastic film gets tangled in valuable materials, the entire bail goes in the trash. Perfectly bagged recycling will go in the trash.
  • Un-rinsed containers. Significant food residue, such as peanut butter and pizza boxes, degrades the value of the material you are recycling and causes bail contamination. If contamination percentage rates are too high, 100% of the bail will be discarded.

Board of Education Meeting on September 12, 2023

PowerPoint Presentation

First page of the PDF file: iRecycle-BoardPresentation-9122023

Meeting Video

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What is CCPS doing?

  • Every classroom will have a recycle bin that is to be placed NEXT to the trashcan. The two receptacles are to remain together.
  • Produce videos for elementary and secondary students that will introduce the iRecycle Smart program.  Find the videos at the bottom of this webpage.  
  • Each classroom will receive signage that is to be placed above the recycle bin.
  • Building service staff will empty the bins once a week unless a student group assumes the responsibility. (Grade level, Green Team, Honor Society, ROTC, etc.) Ideally, we can relieve the building service staff of the collection responsibility. Training will be provided to the group of individuals responsible for the collection recyclable materials.
iRecycle Smart mascot- Chuck ItIn

iRecycle Smart Mascot, Mr. Chuck Itin

iRecycle Smart Poster

What goes in paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles. What stays out bags & wrappers, liquids and food


What goes IN

Aluminum Cans
Plastic Bottles


What stays OUT

Bags & Wrappers

Learn from CCPS students how to recycle smarter in order to save more natural resources.

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