Skip to main content

Recycling Program

What to recycle

To help you get recycling right, here’s a guide to what goes in your recycling bin and what doesn’t. You can also download and print our recycling guide (PDF).

Jump to:

What to put in the bin


Removed from plastic sleeves and bags

  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Magazines, brochures, and catalogs
  • Junk mail, envelopes, and writing paper
  • Scrap paper
  • Paper bags
  • Phone books
  • Paperback books (no hardbacks)
  • Greeting cards and gift wrap (non-metallic)

Plastics (labeled #1, #2, #5)

Emptied, rinsed, and dry—lids and caps on

  • All food and beverage containers
  • Hard plastic takeout containers
  • Detergent and shampoo bottles
  • Pump and spray bottles
  • Plastic bottles and jugs


Emptied, rinsed, and dry—lids and caps on

  • Aluminum, steel, and tin cans
  • Empty paint cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Aluminum or steel baking trays/dishes
  • Jar lids and bottle caps on empty containers


Emptied, rinsed, and dry

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Wine
  • Soup


Flattened and free of grease and food

  • Corrugated cardboard shipping boxes
  • Clean (not greasy) pizza boxes
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Egg cartons (cardboard only)
  • Dry food boxes


Emptied, rinsed, and dry—lids and caps on

  • All bottles and jars

What to keep out of the bin

Not everything with a recycling symbol is accepted as curbside recycling. Some materials aren’t safe or useful for recycling. Learn what to keep out of your recycling bin.

  • Plastic bags, bagged recycling
  • Food and food-soiled materials
  • Disposable plates, cups, and takeout containers
  • Greasy or food-soiled paper and cardboard
  • Styrofoam™
  • Batteries and electronics
  • Needles and syringes
  • Clothing hangers
  • Tissues, paper towels, and napkins
  • Pots, pans, and ceramics
  • Wood
  • Shredded paper

Important recycling reminders

No plastic bags

Plastic bags are not recyclable curbside. They tear and wrap around the moving parts in recycling processing machines, leading to higher maintenance costs, equipment damage, and even worker-safety issues.

No needles or syringes

Needles and syringes should go in your regular trash in a strong plastic container or wrapped in cloth. Contaminating the recycling stream with these items not only ruins good materials and damages equipment—it endangers our recycling workers.

No shipping materials

Remove all shipping or packing materials (such as packing peanuts and Styrofoam blocks). Empty boxes should then be collapsed, folded, and placed inside the recycling bin.

Do not bag your recycling

Recyclables must be put out in a bin—not in a bag or cardboard box. Find out how to get a recycling bin.

Alternatives to curbside recycling

Curbside collection is not your only option. The City has six sanitation convenience centers, composting programs, and other resources to help you properly recycle items not collected at the curb.

Learn how to recycle special items.

Recycling quiz

Now that you’ve learned what goes in the bin and what stays out, test your recycling knowledge.

Take the quiz