Takeout Containers (Plastic) 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. Rinse Out Before Recycling Plastic containers should be washed out before they are put in the recycling. Food traces contaminate the recycling process. Compostable Plastics Do not recycle plastic containers labeled “compostable” because they will be sorted out of recycling. Don't Reuse Plastic takeout containers are made up of chemicals that will leach into your food if you wash and reuse them. 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.