Garbage / Recycling / Yard & Garden / Hazardous Waste
Landfill Services / Reduce & Reuse / Contact Us
Solid Waste Management makes recycling easy and convenient. For single-family residential customers, curbside recycling collection is included with your garbage service. Recycling allows you to use a smaller garbage container, keeping your monthly rate low.
Solid Waste Management picks up recycling every other week on your garbage day. You must use a City-supplied blue container for your mixed recyclables and a small blue bin for glass and batteries.
In addition to your current recycling habits, go a step further and learn ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate in the first place and how to reuse perfectly good items before they’re recycled or thrown in the garbage.
Accepted / not accepted items for recycling (single-family resident, business/multifamily "mixed" recycling)
Please make sure the items you place in your container are accepted for recycling, otherwise you may be charged a fee. Refer to these lists of the most common items accepted and not accepted in your recycling container. If you have a question about something not listed, e-mail email@example.com, or call (253) 591-5543.
Recycling – YES
Please rinse out bottles, jugs, jars, tubs, cans and other items that might have food residue.
- Bags: grocery, department store, dry cleaning
Put into one bag and tie at the top
- Bottles: pop, water, juice, shampoo, etc.
- Jars: peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, etc.
- Jugs: milk, laundry/dish detergent, etc.
- Tubs: yogurt, margarine, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.
Remove caps and lids from all bottles/containers and place in the garbage
- Egg cartons (no Styrofoam)
- Gift wrap: non-metallic (no bows/ribbons)
- Junk mail
Learn how to reduce your junk mail
- Newspaper, magazines, catalogs
- Office & computer paper
- Shredded paper strips
Place inside paper bag
- Paper boxes: dry foods, pop, toothpaste, etc.
Remove liners and place in the garbage
- Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
Aluminum & tin
- Aerosol cans (empty)
If there’s still product left in the can, it may be considered hazardous waste and should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Aluminum & tin cans
- Aluminum foil & trays (clean)
Boxes & cardboard
- Corrugated cardboard
- Frozen food boxes
- Ice cream cartons
- Milk & juice cartons
Large amounts of cardboard that can’t fit inside your container may be disposed of at the Recycling Center free of charge.
Recycling – NO
The following items are not recyclable in the curbside program and should go either in your garbage container or to a local recycler of the material. If any of these items are placed in your recycling container, you will be charged a $10 fee as the entire container must be dumped as garbage to avoid contamination of our recyclable material. Repeated instances of contamination may result in a charge on your utility bill and/or removal of your container.
Plastics - NO
- Bottles that held motor oil, antifreeze, bleach, pesticides or any other hazardous materials
- Caps & lids
- Clothes hangers
- Lawn furniture
- Medicine bottles
- Plant pots, baskets, trays, hangers
- Woven bags: sand/feed bags, etc.
Paper - NO
- Carbon paper
- Dirty paper plates & cups
- Disposable diapers (clean or dirty)
- Foil/metallic gift wrap
- Paper box liners/wrappings
- Pizza boxes
- Soiled newspaper
- Tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins
Metals - NO
Other - NO
- Anything with food residue
Please clean all food residue off any recyclable item
Donate if reusable. Look in the phone book under “Charities” or go to the Goodwill donation station at the Recycling Center.
Recyclable through private recyclers. Recycle TVs, computers and monitors free through E-Cycle Washington. Learn more about electronics recycling.
- Foam rubber
- Hardbound books
Donate if reusable. Look in the phone book under “Charities” or go to the Goodwill station at the Recycling Center.
- Pet food/cement bags
- Polystyrene cups & egg cartons
- Pizza boxes (greasy)
- Styrofoam products
Packing peanuts and #6 Styrofoam blocks are recyclable at the Recycling Center.
- Wood & wood waste
Glass and battery recycling
Residential customers who recycle curbside also may request a small blue bin for collection of glass and household batteries. This bin is to be placed next to your big blue recycling container for collection on your recycling day.
Glass/batteries – YES
- Glass bottles & jars: clear, brown, green
- Remove caps & lids and place them in the garbage.
- Rinse bottles & jars (labels OK).
- Household batteries: rechargeable, alkaline
- Seal inside a plastic bag and place in your glass bin.
Glass/batteries – NO
Securely wrap or bag these items and place in your garbage container.
- Broken glass
- Ceramics, mugs, dishes, Pyrex
- Light bulbs
Recycle fluorescent light bulbs at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at no additional charge.
- Window or plate glass
On your recycling day, set it out this way
Solid Waste Management uses an automated collection system, which means our trucks pick up your recycling container with a mechanical arm. This method saves us time and money and works only when containers are set out properly.
When you set out your recycling container, please follow these guidelines:
- Set container out by 7 a.m. on your recycling day.
- Set container four (4) feet from things such as other containers, vehicles, telephone poles, fences and buildings.
- Place container with the lid opening toward the street or alley.
- Make sure the lid is closed and sits flat on top. Do not place recyclables on top of or around container.
- Remove container from the curb or alley after recycling has been picked up.
Your recycling collection week
Recycling is picked up every other week on your garbage day. Recycling and yard waste are collected on alternating weeks.
Recycling container options
Solid Waste Management provides recycling containers for all single-family residential customers who request curbside recycling service. You must use the blue, wheeled container for mixed recycling and the small blue bin for glass and batteries. You may choose the size of your mixed recycling container, available in 30-, 60- and 90-gallons. There is no additional charge for curbside recycling. It is included as a part of your residential garbage service.
The more you recycle, reuse, donate or compost, the smaller the garbage container you need. This saves you money and helps protect the environment. Learn more about how to reduce your waste.
Make sure your size is right
You're allowed to change the size of your recycling and garbage containers free of charge just once a year. After one size change, a $30 fee will be charged for additional container exchanges throughout that year.
Large amounts of recycling
If you are remodeling, moving or anything else that produces excessive amounts of recyclable items, request a temporary box for large amounts of recycling. Solid Waste Management will deliver the temporary box to your residence for a fee. You are responsible for making arrangements with a private recycler that will take your material. The type of items you put in the box depends on what you’ve arranged in advance with that private recycler. Solid Waste Management does not keep and process this material, it only provides the box and hauling service for a fee. Solid Waste Management temporary recycling box fees:
- Placement (delivery to your residence): $50
- Haul: $50 per haul
- Mileage (to your chosen private recycler): $2.50 per mile
- Box rent: $1.10 per day
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (253) 591-5543.
Online account management
Manage your solid waste account (including recycling) online anytime – day or night – at www.TacomaServices.org.
The free online service allows you to:
- Start or stop service – Just moved or going on vacation? Start or stop your garbage or recycling service online.
- Change your service – Change container size or request additional containers.
- Pay your bill – Pay your bill, sign up for automatic payments and check your balance.
Customers who have not yet accessed their account online must first register with your account number and create a password. If you’d prefer to handle your account questions over the phone, call (253) 591-5543.
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