Update, 12/7/2009: We now accept milk and juice cartons in our Montgomery County, Maryland, recycling program. Please remove the plastic caps from the cartons. Then, add them to your wheeled mixed paper recycling cart, place into a small paper bag or a small cardboard box with a secure lid, or bundle.
From our mailbag:
Are the 1/2 gallon rectangular shaped cartons that milk and orange juice come in recyclable? I just want to do the correct thing.
Thanks for your question, R.! Sorry, our recycling program does not accept milk and juice cartons because they are coated with a thin plastic film. In order to recover the paper fibers, they would need to be separated from this film layer. That's a step most paper recycling processes are not set up to handle. So, please put these cartons into the trash.