Tetra-Pak Cartons Curbside Trash Curbside Recycling Depending on the city you live in, tetra-pak cartons may be recyclable or go into the tash. For El Cerrito residents – you may place empty cartons in your recycling bin. For all other residents in West Contra Costa County (Republic Services Customers) – Please place the cartons in the trash. Don’t Flatten Cartons The sorting machinery at processing facilities is programmed to recognize a carton’s shape. Keep a carton three-dimensional to increase its chances of being sorted properly. How to Recognize Tetra Pak Cartons A plastic Tetra Pak carton is smooth and glossy with a shiny metallic lining on its inside. These cartons are shelf stable until opened and usually rectangular with sides that are folded down. For some cartons, the Tetra Pak logo can be found on the bottom side of the item. Refrigerated Cartons Are Different Refrigerated cartons (such as milk and juice) contain more paper than a Tetra Pak carton and don’t keep their contents fresh unless refrigerated. They also tend to have pointed tops. Learn how to dispose of refrigerated cartons. Did You Know? What Do Cartons Become? In places that are able to process them for recycling, the paper from cartons are recycled into paper products such as paper towels, tissues and office papers. The plastic and aluminum can be burned for energy or turned into ceiling tiles and synthetic lumber board materials. The Difference Between Cartons There are two types of liquid cartons: aseptic and gable-top. Gable-top cartons feature peaked roofs and need to stay refrigerated. They are mostly composed of paper with a thin plastic lining. Aseptic cartons usually have a rectangular top and don’t require refrigeration until they have been opened. They contain an inner aluminum lining as well as more plastic than traditional gable-top cartons. Learn more.