From the research I’ve done, I’ve found the cities we’ve lived in will not recycle tops, period.
So, what to do with all these tops?
1. While still in Norfolk, I went by the Ernie Morgan Environmental Action Center next to the Norfolk Zoo, referred by the Green Alternative’s owner. They were said to take tops, but they were closed— though I went during office hours. Maybe the city was cutting back? I was so disappointed. Anyone reading in Norfolk, have you been by the center? What do they offer on the inside? They have battery recycling and compost examples on the outside.
2. The owner of Green Alternatives also sent me to the Aveda store at the McArther Center Mall, claiming Aveda recycled tops, melted them down and used them for future packaging. They were always grateful for any tops. I called to find out they take all tops that are 100% plastic, except for prescription bottle tops. The girl behind the counter explained they sort through and decide what they can use. She took my entire bag! I was told company wide, Aveda stores will take your tops. However, a reader in Louisville, Kentucky said the store turned her away explaining it was only a one-time promo deal. Call first before you drive over.
3. Caps-n-Cups is another alternative. In order to keep plastic tops out of America’s waterways and to keep our marine life safe, they will recycle all types of plastic tops. Tops from soda bottles, sports drinks, juice bottles, milk jugs, coffee cans, sauce bottles, detergent bottles, pill bottle caps, ketchup bottles, paint tops, tops off cleaners, cooking sprays, toothpaste tubes, and shampoo. They also recycle #5 cups, but cannot recycle paper or styrofoam cups, or plastic cups without the #5 label. Their only criteria is that you wash and clean the lids before you send them in. (Even if I have to pay to send them in, I consider it an investment for the future of my future child, and for my present piece of mind. I AM doing my part. I WILL make a difference.)
One step closer to zero waste! I felt like I’d won. I got rid of all my tops without throwing them in the trash!