Takeout Containers (Aluminum) Other Recycling Please rinse and dry your container before puttting it into the bin. Dirty containers with food residue make the container unrecycable and have the potential to contaminate the entire batch (up to 2000+ lbs) of other materials. For more explanation of this issue, check out this article that breaks it all down. Clean Out Before Recycling Aluminum containers should be scraped out before they are put in the recycling. Food contaminates the recycling process. Recycle the Cardboard Cover if Clean If the aluminum tray covers are clean, recycle them with other cardboard. Ways to Reuse Wash and Reuse Avoid throwing out an aluminum container after just one use. Try washing and then reusing it. Did You Know? The Preferred Takeout Container Out of all the types of takeout containers—aluminum, cardboard, plastic and styrofoam—aluminum is the easiest for recycling plants to recycle, while styrofoam is the most difficult.