Some cottage cheese and yogurt containers have what appears to be a liner of aluminum between the container lid and the cottage cheese or yogurt. Is this piece aluminum? ~Recycler

Dear Recycler,

There are many look-alike aluminum liners. The best way to determine if the liner is aluminum is to crumble the liner in your hand. If it remains crumbled, the liner is aluminum and it recycles with aluminum foil. If it unfolds, it is not aluminum, and should go in the trash.

How do I recycle aluminum foil? Does it go in bin with the aluminum cans? ~Foiled in Lewisburg

Dear Foiled in Lewisburg,

No, aluminum foil doesn’t go with aluminum cans, but goes in a separate bag/bin with pie pans. Don’t be fooled by the “fake” aluminum bags inside a cracker or chip box or bag. It appears to be aluminum on one side, but it isn’t. Test it. If you crumble up a piece of aluminum, it will stay in a ball. If it isn’t, it unwraps itself. According to, “aluminum is one of the highest-value materials you can recycle and can be reprocessed into new aluminum in only 60 days. Although nearly 75 percent of aluminum produced in the U.S. is still being used, Americans dispose of enough aluminum foil each year to annually build an entire aircraft fleet.” Aluminum foil is 100% recyclable, so please take the time to clean it, put it in a separate bag and send it to be recycled.

Last time I was at the Recycling Center I noticed that aluminum pie pans & aluminum foil goes in the same bin. I thought they had to go in separate bags or bins. Also, I noticed that one of the signs on the aluminum pie/foil bin said silver aluminum only. I have a red aluminum pan. Can it be recycled? ~Recycler

Dear Recycler,

Aluminum foil and aluminum pans are now combined in the same bin or bag and any color aluminum is recyclable. The problem is whether or not the foil is actually aluminum foil. The sign was put up quite a while go because fake aluminum foil was being put in the bin. Fake foils are “look-a-likes” that appear to be aluminum foil, but they are not. For example, when you open a bag of potato chips, the inside part of the bag looks like it is foil. To see if the bag really is aluminum foil, do this quick test. Crumble it up. If it stays crumbled, it is aluminum. If it unfolds, it is not. Thanks for calling the sign to our attention. Since it is no longer needed, it has been taken down. Make sure your pans and foil are clean before recycling them. One dirty pan or dirty foil can contaminate the items around them, and they are no longer recyclable. Large cities have special equipment to clean all items, but that equipment is not available here.