Recycling Simplified

At Republic Services®, we bring you quick and easy ways to make a difference in our communities. Follow these simple guidelines to become a better recycler.

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Recycling: Simple as 1-2-3

Piece of cardboard, metal can, and plastic bottle

Paper & Cardboard

Flattened cardboard, newspapers, magazines, office paper and common mail.

Metal Cans

Beverage and food cans.

Plastic Bottles & Jugs

Food and liquid containers with the lids on.

Clean plastic bottles

No Soiled or Wet Materials

Just one dirty bottle or item can contaminate the contents of a whole recycling truck. Once cardboard or paper comes into contact with food or liquid, it can no longer be recycled.

Bag of recyclables being crossed out

Don’t Bag or Contain

No bags go in the recycling container, and never put recyclables in bags or containers.

No Connected or Mixed Materials

When two or more materials are connected, like paper envelopes with plastic bubble wrap inside, the items can’t be recycled.

NEVER place these items in your recycling container

  • Plastic bag being crossed out

    No Plastic Bags & Wrappers

    Plastic bags, plastic wrappers and flexible plastic packaging are too thin to be recycled. Reuse them in your home or return them to your local grocer for recycling.

  • Styrofoam container being crossed out

    No Styrofoam

    Styrofoam can be great for reuse but not for recycling. Dispose of these items in your trash.

  • Pile of food being crossed out

    No Food

    Food scraps must be disposed of with your trash, or composted where composting programs are offered.

  • Batteries being crossed out

    No Electronics & Batteries

    Electronics, batteries and light bulbs cannot go into your recycling container and require special handling. Check local programs for disposal options.

  • Yard waste being crossed out

    No Yard Waste

    Yard waste must be disposed of with your trash or composted where composting programs are offered.

  • Diapers being crossed out

    No Diapers

    Clean or dirty diapers cannot be recycled. Dispose of them in your trash.

  • Soiled paper being crossed out

    No Soiled Paper

    Soiled or wet items are not recyclable and should be disposed of with your trash.

  • Clothing and shoes being crossed out

    No Clothing & Shoes

    Clothing items can be taken to a dedicated reuse collection location but cannot be placed in your recycling container.

  • Tools being crossed out

    No Tools

    Tools and other hardware items may find a second life, but not if they’re placed in your recycling container. Dispose of these items in your trash or give them away for reuse.

  • Toys being crossed out

    No Toys

    While often made of plastic, toys cannot be placed in your recycling container. Donate these items or dispose of them in your trash.

  • Construction materials being crossed out

    No Construction Waste

    Wood, sheetrock and other home construction items cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in your trash.

  • Medical waste being crossed out

    No Medical

    Needles and other medical items cannot be recycled and may cause serious harm to workers. Dispose of them in proper medical waste containers.

What Your Recycling Container Should Look Like

If you know what to look for, it's easy to see if you're on track. Compare your recycling container to the pictures below. Yours should resemble the one on the right. Want to learn more? Visit our Residential Resources page for printable reminders that can help everyone in your house become better at recycling.

  • Food waste
  • Soiled or wet paper and cardboard
  • Liquid in bottles
  • Coffee cups
  • Empty. Clean. Dry.
  • No smell
  • No plastic bags
  • No bagged recyclables

Help Us Create a Bright Future

When it comes to recycling, everyone has a part to play. Working together, we can make sure recyclable materials don’t end up in our lakes and landfills. At Republic Services, we believe in the preservation of our Blue Planet, a cleaner, safer and healthier world where people thrive—not just for today, but for generations to come.

Learn more at weworkforearth.com.