What Can I Recycle?

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Here is an extensive list of what you can and cannot recycle in curbside bins, carts, or at drop-offs in Hamilton County, Ohio:*

Please remember that putting the wrong materials in your bin/cart/area drop-off causes contamination in the recycling stream. Contamination can damage equipment or cause recyclables to be less valuable.  

* Although the items on the "CANNOT put these in your bin/cart" lists below cannot be accepted in curbside bin/cart or drop-off recycling collection in Hamilton County, Visit our Recycling & Reuse Outlets page for potential options.

Plastic - any Bottle or Jug

Don’t worry about the numbers. As long as the plastic is a bottle or jug, you can recycle it! Just make sure the plastic bottle has a mouth smaller than the rest of the container. Rinse the container, don't worry about the label, and lids are okay if left on the empty bottle. Plastic bags NOT accepted!

You can put these in your bin/cart:

You CANNOT put these in your bin/cart:

water and pop bottles butter or margarine tubs
shampoo bottles whipped topping containers
salad dressing bottles yogurt containers
milk jugs deli containers
juice bottles storage containers
contact solution bottles Styrofoam©
ketchup and mustard bottles plastic wrap and packaging
liquid laundry detergent jugs plastic bags
cat litter jugs lotion tubes
(lids OK if left on empty bottle/jug) plastic hangers
  food film/plastic food containers (single serve frozen meals)
  hinged containers (to-go box, clam shell)
  cat litter buckets or containers   


Glass - any Bottle or Jar

Any color, any size as long as the glass is a bottle or jar. Remove the lid and place in your bin or cart separately (but don’t worry about the label) and rinse out the container before placing in the bin or cart.

You can put these in your bin/cart:

You CANNOT put these in your bin/cart:

pop bottles drinking glasses
beer and wine bottles baking dishes
juice bottles dinnerware
jelly jars window glass
tomato sauce jars vases, aquariums
pickle jars light bulbs, compact fluorescent 
salsa jars or regular fluorescent lights
metal lids (include separately in your bin or cart)  


Metal - Aluminum and Steel Cans

All food related metal cans go into your bin. No paint or chemical related cans. No need to remove the label but do rinse out the food can.

You can put these in your bin/cart:

You CANNOT put these in your bin/cart:

soup cans metal hangers
pop cans scrap metal
beer cans aluminum foil
fruit and vegetable cans non-food related metal
tuna/salmon/meat cans non-drink related metal
juice cans empty paint containers
metal coffee cans empty spray paint cans, etc.
empty aerosol cans–remove tips/lids  


Paper - Any Type of Paper

If you can tear it, you can put it in your bin/cart (with few exceptions). All types of paper, paperboard (i.e., cereal boxes, frozen dinner boxes, 12-pack beverage containers, etc.), paper cartons (remove caps or straws), and cardboard are recyclable, even if they are glossy! For shredded paper, place in a clear plastic bag to help prevent littering. You can even recycle clean pizza boxes. For book recyclers, click here or call the Recycling Hotline at 946-7766.

You can put these in your bin/cart:

You CANNOT put these in your bin/cart:

newspapers and inserts bound books
magazines–dull or glossy paper plates
phone books napkins
catalogs paper soiled with food
junk mail foil-coated paper
cardboard boxes–flatten wax-coated paper
brown paper grocery bags photographs
beverage carriers wax paper
envelopes–with or without windows  
paperboard (e.g., boxes from cereal, crackers, cake mixes, frozen dinners)  
paper towel/toilet paper cores  
office paper–with or without staples  
clean pizza boxes  
shredded paper (place in a clear plastic bag to help prevent littering)
paper cartons (e.g., milk, OJ, juice box, soup/stock boxes) – without caps or straws
ice cream cartons (paper based)

Recycle Right

Recycle Right logoAlthough curbside recycling participation is growing, so is contamination of those materials.

Check out this infographic on how to recycle right.

Benefits of Recycling

By recycling you create many environmental and economic benefits. Click here to learn how your actions make a difference.

Start Recycling in Your Community

If you are not currently recycling in your home, you can start today. Learn how to get a recycling bin or cart in your community or where the nearest drop-off is to you.

If you live in an apartment or condo building, we also have a program to help you start recycling. Visit our Multi-Family Recycling Program page to learn more.


Questions about recycling? Check out the Recycling FAQ page, call our Recycling Hotline at 946-7766.

Although the items on the "CANNOT put these in your bin/cart" lists above cannot be accepted in curbside bin or drop-off recycling collection in Hamilton County, Ohio several of the items are accepted for recycling through special collection programs. For a list of these, please visit our Recycling & Reuse Outlets page.


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