To learn how simple it is to recycle, follow the steps below or download our Guide to Recycling in Hamilton County. If you have questions, call our Recycling Hotline at (513) 946-7766.
Recycling collection differs by community. To request a bin/cart or learn where recycling drop-offs are located in your comminuty, visit our Recycling in Your Community listing.
Recycle your plastic bottles and jugs; paper products (cartons, cardboard, glossy pages and envelopes with windows included); glass bottles and jars; and steel and aluminum cans. Learn more about what can be recycled.
Collect all the acceptable recyclables from your home, don't forget the bathroom and home office. There is no need to sort recyclables or collect them in a plastic bag (plastic bags aren't accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling programs!). Simply put your recyclables into your bin/cart and take it out to your collection spot.
Recycling benefits both the environment and the economy. There are many good reasons to recycle—using recycled materials in the manufacturing process conserves energy, saves natural resources, reduces pollution, and creates jobs.
But don't just take our word for it, hear it from your neighbors!
What Happens to Your Recyclables?
Placing your bottles, cans, and newspaper on the curb or in a drop-off box is just the beginning of the recycling process. What happens to your recyclables from there?
Step One: Collection
A separate truck from garbage collects your recyclables. The trucks lightly compact the material to maximize space and increases collection efficiency.
Step Two: Processing
- The recycling truck transports the recyclables to a material recovery facility, or MRF, and unloads everything onto the floor.
- Recyclables make their way through the MRF on a series of conveyer belts. Workers and mechanical systems separate the material by type.
- The large piles of separated aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper, and other materials go through a baler to become compact and transportable.
- The recycler then sends the bales to an end-user.
See an example of each step in the separation process in this detailed video.
Step Three: Manufacturing
End users, or manufacturers, use the material as feedstock to make new products. Materials like aluminum and plastic are melted down under very high temperatures and reformed into new cans, bottles, and other products. Manufacturers recycle paper by mixing it with water to break it down into pulp that can be pressed into new sheets of paper. Some of your recyclables turn into these products:
- Glass = Fiberglass Insulation and window glass
- Paper = More paper and paper towels
- Plastic = Industrial strapping, carpet, and lumber
- Aluminum and Steel = More cans, car parts, and appliances
What if I Live Outside of Hamilton County?
If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, outside of Hamilton County, please contact your local solid waste district for specific information.
Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District (513) 732-7894
Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste District (513) 887-3653
Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area (859) 334-3151
Warren County Solid Waste Management District (513) 695-1209