Takeout Containers (Plastic) Put in Recycling Cart/Bin Before recycling, empty and scrape the food residue out of the container. Confirm that the item is not a compostable or biodegradable plastic which cannot be recycled through the curbside program. Don't Reuse Plastic takeout containers are made up of chemicals that may 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 foam — aluminum is the easiest for recycling plants to recycle, while foam is the most difficult.