MOST RECENT UPDATE (January 2018): As a result of China having (wisely I believe) changed their policy on being a holding tank for the plastic detritus from the West) THIS ADVICE ON HOW TO RECYCLE SMALL PLASTIC LIDS IS NOW OUTDATED. Different districts in the US are adopting radically revised recycling protocols. Stay tuned for news about recycling rules in your region. Don't just throw any old thing into the recycling bin and hope for the best. The realities of efficiency constraints are such that one "wrong" item might cause the contents of the entire bin to be rejected at the recycling center.
OUTDATED POST DISREGARD
UPDATE Tonight the menfolk and I are watching the Patriots and Falcons throwing around not only the pigskin, but their super-size bodies.
Tomorrow morning, I'll be throwing potentially dangerous projectiles into an economy size laundry soap container, screwing the top on to it, and tossing into my recycling bin.
Dangerous projectiles??? Yes. At the recycling center, metal and plastic lids having a diameter less than two inches can fly up during the recycling process and injure workers.
NOTE: Before proceeding, please double check with the guidelines of your local recycling center. I was surprised to learn that mine accepted plastic lids, and you may be, too, if you do a little exploring.
You can safely recycle plastic lids one by one, by screwing them onto their original plastic jars or bottles (some parts of the country have different rules about whether or not to flatten the empty bottles, though....), or you can recycle plastic lids en masse by collecting them in a large plastic container and closing this larger plastic container with its original lid. Plastic recycling technology has improved recently, and any rigid plastic, whether it is marked with a recycling number or not, is recyclable.
You can recycle metal lids, too, but don't mix metal and plastic lids together. Metal lids can jam plastic recycling equipment. Collect plastic lids in a large plastic container to recycle, and collect metal lids in a metal container to recycle.
WHAT A GAME!!!! WHAT A GAME!! Glad I didn't give up on New England after the half time show.
OK, back to recycling lids. Another way to recycle plastic and metal lids is to use them to make art. Scroll all the way through the pictures on this link, and enjoy recycled lid art, everything from metallic fabric to detailed mosaics.