Can You Recycle Beer Bottles with Lime in Them?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: June 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Are you wondering if you need to dig the lime out of the beer bottle before you recycle it at the can return or in your recycling bin at home? Well, we have the scoop on what to do with those beer-soaked citrus remnants.

Yes, you can recycle beer bottles with the lime in them. The process of shattering and melting the glass into new products will destroy an organic material.

But, if possible, it is best to clean them before recycling because it will help to keep the can return and recycling facilities sanitary. 

The following article dives into the world of recycling glass with limes still in them.

Can I recycle beer bottles with the lime in them at the self-serve bottle return sites?

Yes, many states will give you a 5 – 10 cent refund per bottle at any self-serve bottle return even if the bottle has a lime still in it.

Some machines have the capabilities of sensing large amount of liquid, but a lime would not add enough weight to trigger any of the sensors.

Can I put a beer bottle with the lime in it in my recycling bin?

Yes, you can also put your beer bottles with leftover limes in your you bin for the local recycling service. Although, it is advised to rinse out the bottles as much as possible.

In fact, every item should be rinsed out, so that the recycling has the best chances of being able to be utilized. Most dirty recycling ends up in the trash.

Glass on the other hand, is shattered and melted down to then be molded into a different product. The intense high heat of this process destroys any organic material.

Which is great for those that like to add a lime to their beer, since they are nearly impossible to get out without breaking.

Can I put a beer bottle with the lime in it in my recycling bin

Unfortunately, you may run into a stickler of a recycling company that will advise you not to but your beer bottles with the limes into your recycling can, but those are case to case situations.

You may have more clout to your argument if you can say that you have at least been rinsing the bottles out in attempt to remove the lime without breaking the bottle.

Most recycling companies would rather you attempt to recycle rather than just throw it away if the task is too difficult.

Why is it so difficult to remove a lime wedge from a beer bottle?

No matter the method that is used to add the lime to the beer bottle, and mind you, there is no wrong way, the wedge must be cut to fit snugly into the neck of the bottle, which is why it is so difficult to remove once it has reached the base of the bottle.

Some spend a lot of time removing them before recycling them.

Why would anyone spend time to remove the lime from the bottle?

Some people might still spend time removing to lime form the bottle because of specific recycling policies forbidding the food waste or the user may want to remove the lime to prevent roach or ant infestation while the bottles sit waiting to be recycled.


You can recycle a beer bottle with a lime still in it. At the can return, or in the recycling bin at your home, you will be able to dispose of the glass bottle sustainably and responsibly without having to tediously remove every lime from each bottle.

It is however recommended to rinse our every bottle to help ensure the recycling trucks and facilities remain as clean as possible.

Once the glass recycling begins, the bottles are shattered and melted down into new products, which creates a heat that would destroy any organic material like lime wedges.

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