Recycling

We understand recycling can be confusing. We want to make recycling as easy for you as possible. Below you will find a list of what we can accept as recyclables, both curbside and at the Tacoma Recycle Center. If you have further questions please contact us.


What We Accept


Residential

Recyclables do not need to be separated.

 Please rinse out bottles, jugs, jars, tubs, cans and other items that might have food residue. If items not on the acceptable list are placed in your recycling container, you may be charged a $10 fee because 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

  • 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

Paper

  • Bags 
  • Egg cartons (no Styrofoam) 
  • Gift wrap: non-metallic (no bows/ribbons) 
  • Junk mail  - learn how to reduce your junk mail 
  • Newspaper, magazines, catalogs 
  • Office and 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 and 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 and tin cans 
  • Aluminum foil and trays (clean) 

Boxes and 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.

Commercial

Recyclables do not need to be separated.

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

How to Get Started

  1. Set up service by calling Solid Waste Management to schedule a free, on-site consultation at (253) 502-2100 or view our rates and fees.
    • We will help you determine the type of service you need
    • Container size and storage
    • Container signage and posters
    • Waste prevention/reduction tips and special waste disposal options
  2. Select your coordinator to help educate employees and tenants.
  3. Start collecting recyclables.

Plastics

  • 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

Paper

  • Bags 
  • Egg cartons (no Styrofoam) 
  • Gift wrap: non-metallic (no bows/ribbons) 
  • Junk mail  - learn how to reduce your junk mail 
  • Newspaper, magazines, catalogs 
  • Office and 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 and 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 and tin cans 
  • Aluminum foil and trays (clean) 

Boxes and 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.

Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center

Recyclables be separated.

Metal Items

  • Scrap metal (small items)
  • Aluminum cans, clean foil and aluminum trays
  • Tin cans and empty aerosol cans

Glass Bottles

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

Plastics

  • #3-7 Plastic tubs and jars
  • #2 Solid colored plastic bottles and jugs
  • #2 Clear/cloudy jugs (milk jugs) 
  • #1 Pop, juice and water bottles 
  • Plastic bags and bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam (only clean, white packing Styrofoam. No food containers)

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 accepts any electronic item that has a cord except microwaves.

We also partner with E-Cycle Washington and Take it Back Network to provide free recycling options for electronics including:
  • Televisions
  • Computers and monitors.
The Take It Back Network also accepts florescent bulbs (CFLs) and tubes.

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