What Can I Recycle?

Wondering what can—and can not—be recycled?
Every recycling cart has an image imprinted on its lid that shows the basic items accepted for collection (to see a copy of this image click here.) Our handy, free mobile app contains a database of thousands of items so you can quickly find out how to recycle, dispose or compost something! MyWaste Mobile

Use the following links to download/print:a list of recyclable and nonrecyclable items, a detailed fact sheet on plastics, and ways to "recycle right".
Please note the curbside, single-stream recycling program is for common residential, household materials and packaging -NOT for scrap or large items such as window glass, mirrors, scrap metal objects, large plastic items, etc.
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Recyclable at the Curb, Mixed Together
  • Aluminum food and beverage containers (such as soda cans). “tin” foil and clean aluminum pie pans
  • Books (including paperbacks, hardbacks and telephone books)
  • Brown paper bags
  • Clean paper products—colored and white (such as typing, fax, copy, letterhead, file folders, cardstock, etc.)
  • Corrugated cardboard (boxes do not have to be broken down or bundled)
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Empty plastic containers, including narrow-neck bottles (such as water or soda bottles) and wide-mouth containers such as -
  • Glass food and beverage containers such as jars and bottles (lids may be left on; containers must be empty)
  • Greeting cards without glitter and foil
  • Magazines and catalogs, junk mail and envelopes
  • Newspapers (including all inserts)
  • Non-metallic wrapping paper
  • Paper or plastic milk and juice jugs/cartons
  • Paperboard boxes (such as cracker and cereal boxes without liners)
  • Plastic bags marked with recycling code #2 or #4, such as grocery bags (gather and place inside a single bag)
  • Shredded paper (gather and place inside a paper bag or cardboard box)
  • Tetra Packs—such as soy/rice milk cartons and juice boxes (not juice pouches)
  • Tin and steel food and beverage containers, such as pet food and vegetable cans peanut butter, margarine tubs, yogurt, mayonnaise, prescription bottles, etc. (lids may be left on; containers must be empty)
Items Not Accepted for Curbside Recycling Include
  • Any container that is not empty!
  • Bagged recyclables! (Except for shredded paper or recyclable bags: only these items can be collected in bags.)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery
  • Drinking glasses, ceramic plates
  • Hazardous material containers (such as for pesticides, motor oil or antifreeze)
  • Juice pouches
  • Low-grade paper, such as tissues and napkins/paper towels (even if “clean”!)
  • Metallic or glittery wrapping paper or cards
  • Microwaveable disposable meal trays
  • Mirrors, window glass, light bulbs
  • No polystyrene (Styrofoam™) of any kind
  • Plastics without any recycling symbol/plastic resin ID code on them
  • Potato chip / snack food bags, plastic or foil candy and food wrappers
  • Pots, pans and other household metals (curbside recycling is meant to collect packaging metal only, such as cans.)
  • Rubber or vinyl products (such as hoses, tires, shower curtains, PVC, etc.)
  • Soiled paper products (such as used paper plates or greasy pizza boxes)
  • Thin, brittle plastics (like “clamshell” packaging from salad bars or Solo party cups)
  • Trash bags of any kind
  • Waxed paper or boxes. (Run a fingernail across the surface, if wax comes off it is not recyclable. If it’s only glossy, not waxed, it is recyclable.)
If you would like to know whether or not a specific item is recyclable, The Office of Recycling can be reached by phone at 301-600-2960, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by email.