Aluminum Foil Put in Recycling Cart/Bin Scrape residue off all aluminum foil before recycling. Clean Off All Food Aluminum foil is recyclable if it’s free of food residue. Do not recycle dirty aluminum because food contaminates recycling. Try rinsing the foil to clean it; otherwise, you can throw it in the trash. Ball It Up Before Recycling Save your clean aluminum foil pieces and roll them all together into a ball until it has a diameter of at least 2 inches. Small and loose pieces of foil may be too small to be recycled in facilities and may get caught in machinery or be blown away, becoming litter in the transportation process. urbanbuzz / Shutterstock.com No Potato Chip Bags Items such as potato chip bags are made of a metallized plastic film, not aluminum, so don’t recycle them. Do the Scrunch Test Scrunch an item you’re not sure about in your hand and, if it springs back, it’s not aluminum. Ways to Reduce Use Parchment Paper Instead Aluminum foil is taxing on the environment because of the high demand for it. Instead, try using parchment paper — also called baking paper or baking parchment — which is moisture- and grease-resistant, and makes cleaning up easy. Ways to Reuse Sharpen Scissors Fold a sheet of foil several times and cut through it with a pair of dull scissors to sharpen the blades. Protect Plants Protect your young plant from insects by wrapping its stem loosely in aluminum foil. Clean Your Grill Crumple up a used piece of aluminum foil and use the ball to scrape the crust off your grill. Did You Know? How Aluminum Is Recycled Tin Foil Tin foil was the first commercially available foil and was in use from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. What we call “tin foil” today isn’t the same although it still persists. Luckily aluminum foil does not add a metallic aftertaste like true tin foil.