SCRAP SPECIFICATIONS CIRCULAR 2017
Inbound Curbside Recyclables for MRFs
Explosives – such as Firearms, Ammunition, Shells, Fireworks, used Gasoline Cans.
Medical Waste – such as Needles, Syringes, Biohazard-labeled Containers, etc.
Biological waste of any kind- such as Animal carcasses, Infestations, Skins, Leather, Bones, Organs.
Other Hazardous Materials which may harm human health or cause property/workplace damage.
Any Materials containing human liquids or wastes- such as Diapers, Tissue, etc.
Green wastes- Plant, Wood, Leaves, Fruits, Vegetables and other Vegetative matter.
Inert construction materials- such as Rock, Dirt, Asphalts, Concrete, Debris, Roofing, Dry Wall, etc.
Gross contaminants which reduce product value significantly or completely.
Bulk and Gross Materials Not Recyclable through a MRF: such as Tires, Fiberglass, Wood, Asbestos,
Appliances, Furniture, Ceramics, Rags, Air Bags, common Light Bulbs, Crystal, Plate & Mirror Glass, other
Free Flowing Liquids of any kind.
The goals of municipalities for establishing and maintaining curbside programs vary throughout the country. For
various reasons such as mandates, policies, plant capabilities, customs, local markets (i.e. access to ocean
export), and other factors, additional compatible materials may be collected in addition to the above materials
for separation at material recovery facilities. The following chart offers ISRI’s current guidance, which shall be
updated from time to time as markets and conditions change, on the current pros and cons for each material for
the majority of curbside programs in the U.S. ISRI reserves the right to change any opinion below as it receives
feedback from its members and others in the industry. The opinions expressed do not necessarily apply to all
circumstances and programs, but are guidelines in today’s market. Notwithstanding the below, to be acceptable
to material recovery facilities, all such materials, if accepted in a mixed recyclable curbside recycling program,
should be subject to the same standards as the ISRI Inbound curbside material “Standards” above, in terms of
Source-separation, Handling, Moisture, Health Size Suitability, Material Market Suitability, and Quality. A
material is not recyclable unless there is a secondary non-landfill use or market for its consumption. Use of ISRI
Scrap Circular specifications is recommended as a guide.
#1 - #7 mixed
Markets do form regionally, locally,
or export for mixed plastic bales.
Markets also fluctuate and can
disappear with oil/resin prices
Allows curbside programs to be
Only stable domestics markets are for
#1, #2, and #5 plastics.
#1 - #7 mixed plastic bales are
sometimes not marketable from
Generally, bales are made from all
plastic materials entering the MRF,
not just bottles (i.e., plastic
tableware, straws, etc.) which may
make them more difficult to sort for
Must assure brokered #1- #7 mixed
bales, especially exports, do not go
through secondary processing
utilizing child or unfair labor