What Can I Recycle?

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
shampoo bottles
salad dressing bottles
milk jugs
juice bottles
contact solution bottles
ketchup and mustard bottles
liquid laundry detergent jugs
cat litter jugs
(lids OK if left on empty bottle/jug)
butter or margarine tubs
whipped topping containers
yogurt containers
deli containers
storage containers
plastic wrap and packaging
plastic bags
lotion tubes
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
beer and wine bottles
juice bottles
jelly jars
tomato sauce jars
pickle jars
salsa jars
metal lids (include separately in your bin or cart)
drinking glasses
baking dishes
window glass
vases, aquariums
light bulbs, compact fluorescent 
or regular fluorescent lights

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

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
magazines–dull or glossy
phone books
junk mail
cardboard boxes–flatten
brown paper grocery bags
beverage carriers
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)
bound books
paper plates
paper soiled with food
foil-coated paper
wax-coated paper
wax paper

Recycle Right

Although 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.