BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Recycling right is simple, but it’s incredibly important.

Just one mistake can mean all of this gets tossed in a landfill.

Recyclables come in five major categories: cardboard, glass jars, metal cans, plastics and paper products. No matter where you are in Kern County, you can toss all of those materials into a curbside recycling bin.

Be careful, though — some materials look or seem recyclable, but aren’t.

Plastic bags, for example, can’t be recycled curbside; neither can waxed take-out containers

Some materials are only recyclable if you clean them right.

Food grease on a pizza box or in a plastic tray can contaminate the batch, so make sure you wash recyclables carefully, and throw them out if you can’t.

Finally, take the lids off your jars — then you’re good to go!

For more details, and to find out where you can recycle things like computers and batteries, head to