BY: Chamber Member Teresa Montgomery, Sustainable Programs Manager, South San Francisco Scavenger Company,

Q: Can I recycle empty paper milk cartons?
A: No. Paper must be totally clean/dry and plastic-free for recycling. Please put empty paper cartons (minus any plastic lid/spout) in your green Organics cart. If you do not have a green cart, the cartons belong in your gray Garbage cart.
Keep in mind: The lining inside a paper carton is a contaminant that needs to be removed during the composting process. Buying milk in a plastic jug or glass bottle may be a better alternative.
Q: Can I recycle empty aseptic cartons like juice boxes, soy milk boxes and soup broth boxes?
A: No. These are garbage and belong in your gray cart.
Keep in mind: Aseptic cartons, also known as “shelf-stable” or branded as “Tetra Pak” are different from paper milk/dairy cartons. Aseptic boxes are not sold from the refrigerated section of the market and often have a metallic silver lining in the inside.
Other questions? Please ask them on Facebook @ssfscavenger or email