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Rumpke says many disposable cups can now go into recycling bins instead of landfills

Dirty plastic restaurant cups in an outdoor pile.
Dirty plastic restaurant cups in an outdoor pile.

Rumpke Waste & Recycling is now accepting reusable plastic, paper and aluminum cups through its recycling program, with a few exceptions. It's the second time in two years the company has announced expansions to its recycling program. It began acceptingplastic food tubs,like those from butter and yogurt, last year.

Corporate Communications Manager Molly Yeager says there's two main reasons for the change.

"There's been many advances in the recycling world. One, we recently put better technology into our plants that allows us to separate it out," she said. "However, when it comes to end users, we've [also] seen a big increase in users that want these cups."

She says there are some exceptions to the expanded program. Styrofoam and cups made of No. 6 plastic, like SOLO cups, are still not recyclable.

"I hate telling people to look at the numbers, but that's probably the quickest way of doing it," Yeager said. "Turn the cup over, if you see a number six, that's a good sign that your cup is not able to be accepted in the program."

Straws, plastic stoppers and plastic lids on paper cups, like coffee cups, also need to be thrown in the trash. That also includes K-Cups and ceramic or glass cups.

But plastic lids that come with plastic cups, like those from fast food restaurants, can be recycled if it's reattached to the cups.

WVXU reporter Tana Weingartner contributed to this reporting.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.