Takeout Containers (Aluminum) Recycling Cart If the aluminum tray covers are clean cardboard, recycle them with other cardboard. If covers are lined with foil, put them in the trash. Clean Out Before Recycling Aluminum containers should be washed out before they are put in the recycling. Food traces contaminate the recycling process. Ways to Reuse Wash and Reuse Avoid throwing out an aluminum container after just one use. Try washing and then reusing it. 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.