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Residents, schools, institutions, and agencies must recycle with the Department of Sanitation in clearly labeled bins or clear bags. You must sort your recyclables following City rules. You can get a ticket for not recycling correctly.

Sanitation provides free decals to label bins for recycling. Sanitation also provides other recycling literature including signs, stickers and flyers.

Recyclable items include:

  • Paper and cardboard (green decal)
  • Glass, metal, rigid plastic, and beverage cartons (blue decal)

You must place recyclables at the curb between 4 PM and midnight on the evening before your scheduled recycling pickup day.  If your normal collection day falls on a holiday, the Department of Sanitation will collect your recyclables the following week.

There is no limit to the amount of material or bags you can put out for collection.

Rules for Recycling Paper

Mixed paper, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and phone books may be placed in either clear bags sized between 13 and 55 gallons or green labeled containers no larger than 32 gallons. Containers must have green labels on both sides and the lid. Containers or bags must weigh no more than 60 pounds when they're full and placed out for collection.

Paper may also be tied into bundles 18 inches tall or smaller with mixed paper and cardboard.

If the recyclable items are in a bin and not tied up or in a bag, the bin must be secured with a tight fitting lid.

Green Recycling Bins

The City does not give away green recycling bins.

Paper may be placed out for recycling collection using any one of the following methods:

  • Tied with twine into bundles no taller than 18 inches
  • Placed in clear plastic bags between 13 and 55 gallons
  • Placed in bins clearly labeled with green paper recycling stickers

Rules for Recycling Corrugated Cardboard

Only corrugated cardboard boxes may be recycled as corrugated cardboard. Heavily soiled or greasy cardboard should be disposed of with regular trash.

Corrugated cardboard must be flattened and tied with sturdy twine into bundles 18 inches tall or smaller. Bundles must not be placed in containers or clear bags unless broken into small pieces.

In buildings with mechanized collection, cardboard must be collapsed and placed into designated dumpsters.

Rules for Recycling Plastic

Plastic containers, beverage cartons and drink boxes must be rinsed before recycling and placed in clear bags or blue labeled recycling bins. Plastic can be mixed with metal and glass recyclables, but never with paper recyclables. If the recyclable items are not in a bag, the bin must be secured with a tight fitting lid.

Clear, untinted bags must be sized between 13 and 55 gallons. Containers must be no larger than 32 gallons and have blue labels on both sides and the lid. Containers or bags must weigh no more than 60 pounds when full and placed out for collection.

To dispose of a plastic recycling or trash container, all receptacles should be clearly labeled as garbage and put at the curb on the proper recycling collection day so that the Department of Sanitation will know that they should be collected.

Plastic Items That Can Be Recycled

  • Plastic bottles, cups, jars, and jugs (regardless of recycling number on container bottom)
  • Beverage cartons and drink boxes (juice cartons, juice boxes)
  • Milk cartons
  • Plastic cutlery (spoons, forks, knives)
  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic hangers
  • Rigid plastic caps and lids
  • Rigid plastic food containers (tupperware, yogurt, deli, hummus, dairy tubs, cookie tray inserts, "clamshell" containers, and other plastic takeout containers)
  • Rigid plastic nonfood containers
  • Rigid plastic packaging ("blisterpak" and "clamshell" consumer packaging, acetate boxes)
  • Rigid plastic housewares (flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances, etc.)
  • Bulk plastic (crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances, etc.)
  • Plastic appliances
  • CDs, DVDs, disks, vinyl records, CD and DVD cases
  • Satellite dishes
  • Telephones

Plastic Items That Cannot Be Recycled

  • Styrofoam/plastic foam items (foam cups, foam egg cartons, foam trays, foam packing peanuts, foam sporting equipment, etc.)
  • Plastic bags, wrappers, shower curtains, and all kinds of plastic "film"
  • Plastic rings from soda and beer cans
  • Cell phones
  • Cassette, VHS tapes
  • Sports balls (basketballs, bowling balls, soccer balls, footballs, yoga balls, etc.)
  • Plastic tubes (toothpaste, lotion, and cosmetics, etc.)
  • Single-serve food and drink squeezable pouches (juice pouches, baby food squeeze pouches, yogurt to go pouches, etc.)
  • Garden hoses
  • PVC pipes (must be no longer than 4 feet and placed out as bulk garbage)
  • Containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals
  • Pens and markers
  • 3-ring binders (if separate, the metal rings can be recycled)
  • Umbrellas
  • Lighters
  • Luggage

Rules for Recycling Metal

Metal items must be placed in either clear, untinted bags sized between 13 and 55 gallons or blue labeled containers no larger than 32 gallons. Metal can be mixed with plastic and glass recyclables, but never with paper recyclables. Containers must have blue labels on both sides and the lid. Containers or bags must weigh no more than 60 pounds. If the recyclable items are not in a bag, the container must be secured with a tight fitting lid.

Large metal items such as appliances must be placed at curbside next to the recycling container. For appliances containing CFC gas, a CFC and Freon Removal appointment must be made prior to disposal.

To dispose of a metal recycling or trash container, all receptacles should be clearly labeled as refuse and put at the curb on the proper recycling collection day so that the Department of Sanitation will know that they should be collected.

Metal Items That Can Be Recycled

  • Aerosol cans (empty)
  • Aluminum foil wrap and trays
  • Clean metallic car parts
  • Driedout paint cans (metal lid may be recycled separately)
  • Faucets
  • Food cans (empty and clean)
  • Household metal (wire hangers with paper removed)
  • Irons
  • Knife Blades (Blades of sharp metal knives (such as carving or chef's knives) should be wrapped in cardboard, taped, labeled "CAUTION: SHARP" and placed out with metal/glass/plastic recyclables)
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Metal utensils (including forks, spoons, and knives)
  • Metal caps
  • Pots and pans
  • Satellite Dish
  • Small appliances that are mostly metal

Throwing Out Bulk Metal Items

Large items that are all metal or mostly metal are recyclable as bulk items. If an item exceeds the listed weight, height, or amount requirements, you must hire a private carter for disposal.

Large items that are all metal or mostly metal and are recyclable as bulk items include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Auto parts (containing no hazardous materials or chemicals)
  • Aluminum lawn furniture with plastic webbing
  • Barbecue grills
  • Bedsprings/Metal bed frames
  • Bicycles
  • Boilers
  • Cabinets and appliances
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Furniture
  • Generators (less than 100 pounds)
  • Lawnmower (empty fuel to be used in new lawnmower or bring to SAFE disposal event)
  • Ovens
  • Pipes (no longer than 4 feet)
  • Porcelain coated metal bathtubs and sinks
  • Radiators
  • Snow blowers (less than 100 pounds)
  • Washing machines
  • Water heaters (50 gallons or less)

Metal Compressed Gas Tank Disposal

You can put fire extinguishers and helium tanks out for collection or take them back to where you bought them.

If you put them out, first empty them and remove the head. To empty an extinguisher, spray it into a damp paper bag.

Sanitation does not collect used compressed gas tanks such as propane, oxygen, and acetylene because they can explode in the garbage truck. You must take these tanks back to where you bought them.

Rules for Recycling Glass

Only glass bottles and jars may be recycled as glass.

Glass must be rinsed before you recycle it. You must place glass in clear bags or blue labeled recycling bins. Glass can be mixed with metal and plastic recyclables, but never with paper recyclables. If the recyclable items are not in a bag, the bin must be secured with a tight fitting lid.

Clear, untinted bags must be between 13 and 55 gallons in size. Containers must be 32 gallons or less and have blue labels on both sides and the lid. Containers or bags must weigh no more than 60 pounds when they’re placed out for collection.

Glass Items That Can’t Be Recycled

  • Drinking glasses and glassware
  • Eyeglasses
  • Glass tables
  • Glass windows
  • Light bulbs
  • Mirrors

Broken Glass

To avoid bag punctures, broken glass should be placed into a cardboard box labeled "broken glass." The box should be sealed with tape and placed into a trash can or securely tied garbage bag. Small containers of broken glass may be placed directly into a trash can or bag.

Larger, properly sealed, and labeled cardboard boxes that contain broken glass can be placed out for collection next to regular refuse containers/bags.

The broken ends of smaller single pieces of broken glass can sometimes be protected with several pages of newspaper taped around the broken end before being placed into a trash can or bag.

You can request or download free copies of Department of Sanitation materials, including:

  • Brochures
  • Guides
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Decals
  • Signs

If you are requesting paper copies by mail, you should get them within 30 days of ordering.

Download or request Department of Sanitation materials.

You can get a flyer that tells you what you can and cannot recycle.

The flyer is available in multiple languages.

Online

Download a recycling rules flyer in:

By Mail

Use the Sanitation Material Request Form.

You should get the flyer within 30 days of ordering.

If you want more than 99 copies of a flyer, you must place a Department of Sanitation Literature Bulk Order.

You cannot remove items, materials, or bags that other residents have placed out for Sanitation pickup.

Only authorized employees or agents of the Department of Sanitation may collect them.