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What Can Be Recycled?

What We Collect Curbside

The City of Tacoma offers curbside service to both residents and commercial customers. Below are guidelines for what items are accepted in the curbside blue bin. Curbside recyclable items do not need to be separated, but should be clean of food residue and dry. If non-recyclable items are placed in your recycling container, you may be charged an additional fee because the entire container will 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.


Residential

Recyclables that go into the curbside blue bin include cardboard, paper, plastics and metal. Please recycle clean and dry items only!

 Multi Family RecyclingSingle Family Recycling

Get started by viewing our rates and fees and calling Solid Waste Management at (253) 502-2100. Make sure to follow the set out guidelines and check the collection schedule when preparing for curbside or alley pickup. 

 

Cardboard

Please flatten.

  • Corrugated cardboard - large amounts of cardboard that cannot fit inside your container may be disposed of at the Recycle Center free of charge
  •  

    Paper

  • Newspaper, magazines, catalogs 
  • Office and computer paper 
  • Bags 
  • Junk mail - learn how to reduce your junk mail
  • Paperboard boxes: cereal boxes, crackers, packaging, etc. - remove liners, they are not recyclable
  • Shredded paper strips - place inside paper bag
  • Paper egg cartons (no Styrofoam) 
  • Paper towel rolls/toilet paper rolls 
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Ice cream cartons
  • Mike & juice cartons
  •  

    Plastics

    Please empty liquids and rinse out items with food residue.

  • Bottles: pop, water, juice, shampoo, etc. - screw-on caps can stay on
  • Jars: peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Jugs: milk, laundry/dish detergent, etc.
  • Tubs: yogurt, margarine, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. - remove flat lids, they are not recyclable (they get caught in machinery or mixed in with paper bales)
  • Bags: grocery, department store, dry cleaning - put into one bag and tie closed, no loose bags! (they get tangled in equipment)
  •  

    Metal

  • Aluminum and tin cans
  • Aerosol cans (must be 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 at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center
  • Aluminum foil and trays (clean) 
  •  

    Glass, Batteries and Hazardous Materials are Disposed of Separately

  • Rinse glass containers and place in the small blue bin.
  • Seal household batteries (rechargeable, alkaline) inside a plastic bag and place in the glass bin
  • Hazardous materials (household cleaners, garden chemicals, latex paint, etc.) should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center.
  •  

    Commerical

    Tacoma businesses and multifamily residences produce nearly 50 percent of the total solid waste generated in the City. To help lower the amount of waste, the City offers a curbside recycling program for businesses and multifamily residences:
    • Mixed recycling
    • Glass recycling
    • Corrugated cardboard recycling
    • Construction/demolition recycling & drop-off box recycling

    Get started by viewing our rates and fees and calling Solid Waste Management to schedule a free, on-site consultation at (253) 502-2100. We will help you determine the type of service you need, including:

    • Container size and storage
    • Container signage and posters
    • Waste prevention/reduction tips and special waste disposal options
    • Information about selecting your coordinator to help educate employees and tenants.

    Cardboard

    Please flatten.

  • Corrugated cardboard - large amounts of cardboard that can’t fit inside your container may be disposed of at the Recycling Center free of charge
  •  

    Paper

  • Newspaper, magazines, catalogs 
  • Office and computer paper 
  • Bags 
  • Junk mail - learn how to reduce your junk mail
  • Paperboard boxes: cereal boxes, crackers, packaging, etc. - remove liners, they are not recyclable
  • Shredded paper strips - place inside paper bag
  • Paper egg cartons (no Styrofoam)
  • Gift wrap: non-metallic (no bows/ribbons) 
  • Paper towel rolls/toilet paper rolls 
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Ice cream cartons
  • Mike & juice cartons
  •  

    Plastics

    Please empty liquids and rinse out items with food residue. Remove lids from all containers and place in the garbage. 

  • Bottles: pop, water, juice, shampoo, etc. - screw-on caps can stay on
  • Jars: peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Jugs: milk, laundry/dish detergent, etc.
  • Tubs: yogurt, margarine, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. - remove flat lids, they are not recyclable (they get caught in machinery or mixed in with paper bales) 
  • Bags: grocery, department store, dry cleaning - put into one bag and tie closed, no loose bags! (they get tangled in equipment)
  •  

    Metal

  • Aluminum and tin cans 
  • Aerosol cans (must be 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 at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center
  • Aluminum foil and trays (clean) 
  •  


    What We Accept at the Recycle Center

    The Tacoma Recycle Center is an amazing resource for our community - come and see for yourself why it is one of the best facilities in the U.S. Group tours of the EnviroHouse and Recycle Center are available by calling (253) 573-2426. 

     

    The Recycle Center is located at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center (3510 S. Mullen St.), and is open seven days a week from 8 AM - 6 PM. Self-haul recycling at the Recycle Center is free, and all recyclables must be separated.


    Metal Items

  • Scrap metal (small items)
  • Aluminum cans, clean foil and aluminum trays
  • Tin cans and empty aerosol cans - 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 at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center
  • Glass Bottles

  • Green & blue glass bottles and jars
  • Brown bottles and jars
  • Clear bottles and jars
  • Plastics

    Cardboard and Paper Items

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Books for charity
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Mixed paper and phone books
  • Batteries and Other Items

  • Household alkaline batteries
  • NiCad, LiIon and other rechargeable batteries
  • Cell phones, phone batteries, chargers
  • Printer and toner cartridges
  • Used motor oil
  • Packing peanuts
  • Electronics

    The City of Tacoma partners with E-Cycle Washington to provide free recycling options for electronics. These items may be dropped off at the Goodwill Donation Station at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center:

     

  • Televisions
  • Computers and monitors
  • Tablets and e-readers
  • Portable DVD players
  •  

    Cell phones, batteries and chargers can be recycled for free at the Tacoma Recycling Center and Tacoma Municipal Building.