Find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions by selecting a category below.
If you’re unable to locate an answer, contact your local Recology and we’ll be happy to help.
The shortest answer is that not all materials have an end-market. Remember that recycling is driven by economics – supply and demand. If there is demand by manufacturers for certain products, we will certainly make sure those materials can be used again. However, we’re always looking for solutions for hard-to-recycle items, such as plastic bags and film plastics.
Technically, no. But giving them a quick rinse helps prevent odors, and our sorters appreciate it.
Yes, feel free to leave the lids on bottles when recycling them. Once sent to the appropriate recycling vendors, the different plastics are separated using advanced machinery.
No. Many food packaging companies label their bio-based cups or eating utensils as “biodegradable,” but in reality they are neither compostable nor recyclable. These products are blends of bio-based resins and petro resins and, sadly, go to landfill.
Unfortunately, no. The only cart that can be lined with a plastic bag is your landfill bin for garbage. We cannont accept compostable material in plastic bags, as they’re inherently not made of organic material. They also pose big problems for our equipment.
However, you can line your compost kitchen pails or bins with paper material, such as newspaper or paper bags.
Yes! Even though Recology is a large-scale composter and our technologies for composting are different than those of backyard composting, the basics are the same. All you need is air, water, and bugs to turn food scraps and yard trimmings into a valuable soil amendment. We recommend the EPA’s page “Create Your Own Compost Pile” to learn about backyard composting.
Yes, garbage in an overstuffed container will not loosen or fall into the truck when overturned. Compacting garbage too tightly into your container may also cause it to surpass its weight limit. Ordinary garbage produced by daily living will generally be within the container weight limitations.
Depending on the Recology company, you may need to call in advance of your collection day before our drivers can pick up extra bags of trash that do not fit in your carts. In some areas, there are programs, such as bulky item collections or extra bag tags, that may be available to you. Please visit your local Recology company to verify services for extra material.
Pick up times may vary from week to week depending on drivers, traffic, or route changes. Some customers in commercial areas are serviced at night, therefore it’s important to put your garbage and recycling out the night before to prevent missed pickups.
It’s important to note that sometimes bins will be picked up at a later time due to traffic or route changes. However, if your bins were accessible, the lids were closed, and they were set out at the proper time, please call your Recology company to report a missed pickup.
City and State law prohibit the theft of recyclables. If you see a “thief” sifting through your recyclables, obtain the vehicle license number, car description, time of the theft, description of the person, direction they were heading and report the theft to your non-emergency Police dispatch office. For your safety, do not confront the recycling thieves.
Although we do not provide additional residential bins, you may schedule a debris box drop-off/pick-up with your Recology company up for large cleanups.
For those households with large families or who regularly recycle more than their bins allow, please give us a call to increase your service. Although additional collection charges may apply, you can set your extra recyclables next to your bins in paper bags or cardboard boxes and they will be removed on your regular recycling day.
Place your bins curbside in the street, with the wheels against the curb and the lid pointed toward the street. If you live on a street without a curb you can place them roadside. Place your bins about 2-3 feet apart, all facing the same direction. This helps out our drivers to ensure quick and safe service.
Rain, wind, and snow might delay us by a few hours, depending on the serverity. If extreme weather conditions make it unsafe for our drivers to service your bins, we will collect materials on the first day that regular service resumes.
Yes; Recology companies provide special services to residents who are physically unable to set their bins near the curb for collection. Please call your Recology company for assistance.
Residents who generate minimal garbage, or landfill bound materials be able to save money by reducing their garbage service level. Call your Recology company to see how they can “right size” your service based on material type and volume.
Visit your local Recology company for options for printed materials, or call customer service for special signage designed for your building. Sorting guides are available under resources with your Local Recology.
Our Waste Zero Teams are here for you! Visit your local Recology to connect with a Waste Zero Specialist who will train your staff or tenants, provide signage and resources, and place recycling containers for convenience. Waste zero services are listed under “Specialty Services” on Your Local Recology page.
Each city has different programs for handling hard-to-recycle materials. Generally, we cannot put any of the following items in a curbside bin. Instead, please call for a special pickup for drop them off at your nearest facility.
Plastic bags are problematic for a few reasons. They’re extremely hard to recycle, but we’re working on finding solutions! They also tend to get wrapped around our sorting equipment and slow down the recovery process, which is why we encourage you to not use plastic bags if possible. But if you do, the best way to recycle them is to take them back to grocery stores that accept them.
Please visit your local Recology to learn more about recycling options.
Most Recology companies offer a scheduled pickup service for large items, such as furniture and appliances. Bulky item collection information can be found under “services” when viewing your local Recology page. Once there you may schedule a pickup.
Fluorescent light bulbs are classified as hazardous waste, and CANNOT be placed in the garbage. They can be taken to your nearest Household Hazardous Waste Facility (some local hardware stores also take back fluorescent bulbs).
Paint is typically recycled and reused whenever possible. All cans are usually inspected to make sure the paint is in good enough condition to remix and reuse. Paint is not remixed if it contains rust, mold, or is too thick from drying out over the years. The collected paint is oftentimes sorted by warm or cool colors, and then poured into mixing drums and re-sealed.
Many times, recycled paint is purchased or donated to local organizations to support cleanup projects for parks or schools. Some Recology locations accept paint for recycling (please check the Household Hazardous Waste information), or you may contact Paintcare to find your nearest drop off location.