Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions? We have answers.

Q: Where do I go to return my can and bottles for money?

A: South Carolina does not have a beverage container law or bottle bill that refunds the value of the container (usually 5 or 10 cents).

Q: Why are some things recyclable and others are not?

A: In order for materials to be recycled, markets must exist and there must be a demand for the end products. If stable markets do not exist, materials are often stock-piled and could ultimately end up at the landfill.  You can help create stable markets for recyclables by buying recycled content.

Q: Why can't I recycle everything?

A: The shortest answer is that not everything has a market. Remember that recycling is a business with the economics driven by supply and demand - just like any other business. Think about it like this. Is there a demand by a manufacturer for a particular material? Are they willing to pay for this material like they would any other type of raw material?

Q: Can I recycle glass?

A: Successful glass recycling program must have a nearby glass processor, ample and clean/separated supply, and a cost-effective transportation method.  To see if glass is recyclable in your area, visit the South Carolina DHEC website.

Q: Where can I recycle tires?

A: Tires must be recycled in South Carolina. All counties accept unwanted tires from residents – often limited to a minimal number (e.g., five per day, 10 per month) at designated locations or single-day collection events. To find out recycling opportunities in your community, visit the South Carolina DHEC website. Before buying tires, ask if the retailer will accept the used tires for recycling.

Q: Where do I recycle electronics?

A: Residents are required by law to recycle computers, computer monitors, printers and televisions.  Each of South Carolina’s 46 counties as well as some municipalities provide collection programs and/or offer single-day collection events for unwanted electronics. To find out what is accepted in your community, visit the South Carolina DHEC website.

Q: What do the terms "recycled", "recyclable", "post-consumer" and "pre-consumer" mean?

A: Recycled means that a product is made all or in part from a material that was once something else, like a can or bottle.

Recyclable merely indicates that a product or package can be recycled and used to make something else.

Post-consumer is a term for material that has been returned, recycled, and reborn into a second life. It refers to materials that has served its intended use and has been recycled by a consumer or business. By looking for the highest post-consumer content you can find, you help build demand for material collected in community recycling programs.

Pre-consumer is material that was discarded, or leftover, when used to make something else. It refers to material such as factory trimmings, damaged or obsolete products, and overruns generated by manufacturers. Such materials have been recycled for decades.

Fast Facts: Food Waste


item we throw away the United States


of our food never gets eaten

1 in 7

South Carolinians is food insecure