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Recycling

Notice: The City is currently discussing potential changes to the recycling program with an anticipated effective date of January 2020. Visit our Recycling Changes web page to learn more.

 

The City of Tacoma offers curbside recycling service to residents, multi-family tenants, and commercial customers. We are committed to sustainably managing our waste streams so that we send less waste to the landfill. View our recycling poster.

 

What Goes Where?

Residential customers can learn how to responsibly manage their waste using our new Recycle Coach "What Goes Where" tool! Use the search bar below to quickly and easily access disposal instructions and resources for thousands of items here in Tacoma.

 

 

Helpful Links:

Call-2-Haul

Rates

Collection Schedule

Setout Guidelines

 


The Tacoma Recycle Center

Drop-off recycling is available for free at the Tacoma Recycle Center. You can drop off any recyclable items, including those that cannot be recycled in curbside bins due to size or type of material.

What can you take to the Recycle Center?

 

recycle center

Location:
Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center
3510 S. Mullen St.
Tacoma, WA 98402

For questions or to schedule a group tour:
(253) 593-7725

Hours:
Seven days a week: 8 AM-6 PM

Drop-off at the Recycle Center is free, and all recyclables must be separated.

 


Recycle Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where Does Our Recycling Go?

Commingled recycling collected by the City of Tacoma is sorted at JMK Fibers. This facility, located at the Tacoma Tideflats, uses both state-of-the art equipment and people to sort items and remove any garbage. Once sorted, the recyclables are baled, sold and turned into new products. JMK Fibers is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc.

Recyclables that are collected at the Tacoma Recycle Center are pre-sorted as they are placed into the bins there. Then the items are baled and sold to make new products. 

For a peek at what goes in the sorting facility, watch this short video on YouTube.

 

Why does recycling need to be clean, dry, and empty?

In order for our recyclables to be made into new products, they must meet quality standards. Manufacturers demand clean, dry, good-quality materials. Recycling works when done right! When a dirty or non-recyclable item is added into the bin, it creates a big problem. This can “contaminate” the clean recyclables and make them unmarketable. Just a few dirty or non-recyclable items can ruin a whole load. It’s also important to remove packing materials and plastic liners (as in cereal boxes) because these are difficult to remove in an automated system. Recycling right reduces processing costs and improves sales. Please follow Tacoma’s recycling guidelines to help Tacoma’s goal of zero “contamination.”

How do the new international regulations on recycling affect Tacoma?

The majority of Tacoma’s recyclables are sold overseas, mainly in Asia, where countries have adopted strict policies regarding material quality. Materials that do not meet the new requirements are rejected. There is low to no tolerance for dirty or improperly sorted items. More than ever, it’s important to emphasize quality over quantity and the need for clean recyclables. In the recent past, materials were marketed at a profit. Now as a result of the new policies, the City of Tacoma is facing increased costs to maintain its recycling program.



Who do I contact for questions about recycling in Tacoma?

Contact Solid Waste Management at (253) 502-2100 or solidwaste@cityoftacoma.org.