IN THE CURBSIDE RECYCLING BIN

  • Your neighborhood is covered by the City of Houston curbside recycling program? See below what is accepted in the green bin. Check your schedule.

  • If your neighborhood is covered by a private waste hauler (Republic Services, Waste Management, Waste Connection...), check with the provider for the list of accepted items. Except for plastics numbers and glass, they should accept the same recyclables and same rules should apply. 

water and soda plastic bottle, detegent plastic container, to go plastic box
cardboard box, newspaper, office paper
glass jar, glass bottles
beverage and food carton
beverage aluminum can, aluminum and tin food cans
recycle Aluminum bakeware.jpg

Remember these rules...

1

ALWAYS EMPTY!

Always remove liquid from plastic, glass, can or carton container. Liquid can contaminate other recyclable like paper. 

2

3

4

RINSE AND CLEAN

Containers don't need to be spotless, but free from most food residue to avoid contamination.     

NO PLASTIC BAGS!

Do not bag recyclables. 

Do not  place plastic bags or film in the recycling bin. Instead, take them to your local grocery store.

AND NO....

Rubber hoses, wires, diapers, clothes, plastic toys, paper coffee cup, soiled or wet paper (like pizza box or soiled paper plates).

 

What Type of Plastic in the Recycling Bin? 

There is a large range of plastics ​that can be recycled and placed in the recycling bin.

 

But what is recyclable? Do not trust the chasing arrow symbol! The recycling arrow and number are just an indication. Below are the rules you should follow to properly recycle plastic in Houston. 

  • Recycle ONLY RIGID PLASTIC, bottles, containers, jugs, tubs and jars. 

  • Always EMPTY and CLEAN. If not, it will contaminate the entire batch. Leaving food waste in plastic container or bottle can cause thousand of pounds of recyclables to go to landfill instead of being recycled. 

  • NO PLASTIC BAGS in the curbside recycling bin. When placed in the recycling bin plastic bags can cause damage at the Material Recovery Facility and shut down operations for hours - Plastic bags and films recycling locations

  • NO FLEXIBLE PACKAGING (like apple sauce pouch)

  • NO PLASTIC #6, NO STYROFOAM - Styrofoam recycling locations

  • NO FOOD WRAP, FURNITURE, MEAT FOOD TRAY, PACKAGING MATERIAL and TOYS.

  • NO PLASTIC UTENSILS they cannot be recycled. 

  • REMOVE PLASTIC BOTTLE CAP and place them in the recycling bin as they can be recycled. 

 

Below a list of items by plastic number that can be recycled in Houston when clean:   

  • Plastic #1 - Clear plastic bottles and containers: water, soft drink, juice mouthwash, salad dressing bottles, peanut butter/jam jars, fruits/vegetables packaging tray, detergent and cleaner containers. 

  • Plastic #2 - Opaque milk and water bottles, juice containers, bleach, detergent and shampoo bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs. 

  • Plastic #3 -Clear food containers (e.g., take-out) and non-food packaging (e.g., squeeze bottles, shampoo bottles, mouthwash bottles).

  • Plastic #4 - Squeezable bottles (honey, mustard), food storage containers, container lids.

  • Plastic #5 - Food containers (ketchup, yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine, syrup), take-out  containers, and other opaque plastic containers. 

  • Plastic #7 -Baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, three and five gallon large water storage containers, juice and ketchup containers

 

Which Paper in the Recycling Bin? 

We use paper everyday and most of the paper products that we use are recyclable. Magazines, cardboard boxes, office paper, newspapers, catalog, coupons, unsolicited mail.... it is important to recycle them.

 

The rules are: 

  • LOOSE, DRY and UNSOILED 

  • NO SHREDDED PAPER - confetti size paper is more difficult to recycle and difficult to sort.

  • NO PIZZA BOXES - your pizza box is contaminated with grease and cannot be recycled.

  • NO TISSUE OR KITCHEN PAPER - they are as well contaminated.  

  • NO PAPER CUP - Paper cups have plastic lining inside and cannot be recycled. 

  • NO PAPER with glitter, bows, shiny plastic coating, staples.

An example of a few things that are accepted: 

  • Paperboard boxes like cereal, cookies, snack, crackers, pasta,  

  • Magazines, newspapers, 

  • Phonebooks, paperback books. 

  • Toilet and kitchen paper rolls.

  • Envelops, mail and office paper.

  • Corrugated cardboard, 

  • Wrapping paper is ok if NO: glitter, bows, shiny plastic coating, staples.

 

Glass is Back in the Recycling Bin

After 3 years where glass could no longer be put in the curbside recycling bin, residents can since April 2019 place glass bottles and glass jars back in the green cart.

Broken glass is accepted. 

What is NOT accepted: 

  • Ceramics, such as dishware, ovenware (like Pyrex), and decorative items.

  • Mirror or window glass.

  • Crystal.

  • Light bulbs. Light bulbs should be recycled. 

  • Metal or plastic caps and lids. Top metal cap from glass jar or bottle can be recycled and placed in the recycling bin. 

 

Beverage & Food Cartons in the Recycling Bin

Food and beverage cartons that contain dairy like milk and cream, and juice, are accepted in your recycling bin.

Make sure that they are:

  • RINSED and DRAINED. If not, it will contaminate the entire batch.

  • LIDS REMOVED and placed in the recycling bin as they can be recycled. 

 

Aluminum & Tin Cans

Aluminum can be recycled again and again. Aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be turned into more cans, bicycles, part of car and many other every day products. So no excuse, recycle your beverage can!

Make sure that your cans are:

  • RINSED and DRAINED. If not, it will contaminate the entire batch and be sent to landfill instead of being recycled. 

Tin and steel food cans (soup, veggie, tuna... cans), as well as cookies and candies cans are also recyclable and can be placed in the recycling bin.  

Make sure that your cans are:

  • RINSED and DRAINED to avoid contamination of other recyclables. 

 

Can I Recycle Aluminum Bakeware? 

Like beverage and food cans, disposable bakeware made from aluminum can also be recycled and placed in the recycling bin.  The condition is to have them CLEANED, not sparkly clean but free from most food residue. So first you can reuse them and if you manage to remove all food residue and grease you may recycle your aluminium cookware.. 

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Last update

October 2019