What Can I Recycle?

Hillsborough County residential trash customers receive weekly curbside recycling collection service. You can do your part to recycle correctly by reviewing the list of program items below that can be recycled in your blue recycling cart and common items that should not be placed in your blue cart. All recyclables should be placed in the blue cart loosely - not bagged. See more information on where to discard items not accepted in the blue cart.

Learn more

To find out more about our recycling program, download our Recycling Guide or request a recycling presentation.

Recycling Guide   Recycling Presentation   Recycle Life Cycle Video

Program Recyclables (Blue Cart)

  • Clean Plastic Bottles and Containers

    Clean & Empty Plastic Bottles and Containers

    All plastic bottles and containers emptied of food residue and liquids ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Plastic caps should be left on the bottles. Items NOT recyclable in your blue cart: plastic bags, hoses, PVC, straps, and large plastic items such as kid pools and patio furniture. Plastic bags can be recycled at your local grocery store but should NOT be placed in your blue cart.

  • Clean Aluminum Cans

    Clean & Empty Aluminum Cans

    Aluminum beverage cans emptied of liquids ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Large aluminum food trays and pie tins free of food residue can also be recycled in your blue cart. Aluminum foil is NOT recyclable in your blue cart.

  • Clean Glass Bottles and Jars

    Clean & Empty Glass Bottles and Jars

    Clean glass food and beverage containers emptied of food residue ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Glass windows, mirrors, serving wear, or pint glasses are NOT recyclable in your blue cart and should be discarded in your grey garbage cart.

  • Dry Paper, Newspaper, and Junk Mail

    Dry Paper, Newspaper, and Junk Mail

    All paper that is clean, dry, and easily tears ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Recyclable paper includes magazines, newspaper, construction paper, office paper, envelopes (even with the plastic windows), paperback books, and glossy paper advertisements. Items NOT recyclable in your blue cart: plastic bags, bagged recyclables, shredded paper, tissue paper, and toilet paper. Hard cover books are NOT recyclable in your blue cart but can be donated to local libraries for others to enjoy.

  • Steel and Tin Metal Containers

    Clean & Empty Metal Containers

    Metal food containers, such as vegetable cans and dog/cat food cans, emptied of food residue ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Scrap metal items are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. All aerosol sprays are Household Hazardous Waste and for safety are NOT recyclable in your blue cart.

  • Clean Milk and Juice Cartons

    Clean & Empty Milk and Juice Cartons

    Cartons and aseptic gable top containers, such as soy milk cartons, chicken broth cartons, juice boxes, and Florida orange juice cartons, ARE recyclable in your blue cart. Empty food residue before recycling.

  • Dry Flattened Cardboard

    Dry Flattened Cardboard

    Cardboard boxes ARE recyclable in your blue cart if they are clean, dry, and cut down or folded to fit inside the cart. Pizza boxes are NOT recyclable because they are soiled with food residue and grease. Excess cardboard that will not fit into your blue cart can be taken to a Community Collection Center drop-off recycling container.

  • Dry Paperboard Boxes

    Dry Paperboard Boxes

    Clean and dry paperboard boxes such as cereal boxes, tissue boxes, paperboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls, and other fiberboard material ARE recyclable in your blue cart.

Reuse or Recycle at Other Locations (NOT recyclable in Blue Cart)

  • Clothing, Shoes, and Textiles

    Clothing, Shoes, and Textiles

    Clothing, shoes, and textiles are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Donate lightly worn clothing to local charities or dispose of these items in your grey cart.

  • Electronics

    Electronics

    Electronics of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. You can donate working items to local charities to be reused or you can recycle them at a Hillsborough County Community Collection Center. Small bathroom and kitchen appliances; such as toasters, crock pots, electric skillets, blenders, hairdryers and curling irons; lighting fixtures; and car headlights can be safety disposed of in your grey cart.

  • Lightbulbs

    Light Bulbs

    Light bulbs of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Traditional incandescent bulbs can be discarded in your grey cart. Compact fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes should be recycled at a Household Hazardous Waste collection.

  • Batteries

    Batteries

    Batteries of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Single-use household alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, and D) can be discarded in your grey cart. All other batteries such as lead-acid and rechargeable should be recycled at a Household Hazardous Waste collection.

  • Household Hazardous Waste

    Household Hazardous Waste

    Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is NOT recyclable in your blue cart and should NOT be discarded in your grey cart. HHW products contain ingredients that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. Common examples of HHW items include: cleaners, solvents, paints, stains, pesticides, herbicides, antifreeze, motor oil, nail polish remover, flares, propane tanks, ammunitions, pool chemicals, and rechargeable batteries. All HHW items should be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste collection for proper disposal.

  • Plastic Bags and Film

    Plastic Bags, packaging Wrap, and Film

    Plastic bags, packaging wrap, tarps, and film of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. All recyclables should be placed in your blue cart loosely - not bagged. Plastic bags can be reused for other purposes around your home, recycled at your local grocery store, or disposed of in your grey cart.

  • Syringes and Needles

    Syringes and Needles

    Syringes and needles (sharps) are NOT recyclable in your blue cart and should NOT be discarded in your grey cart or at any of the Hillsborough County solid waste disposal sites. Residents can safely dispose of used syringes and needles through the free Bay Area Sharps Disposal Program.

  • Polystyrene Foam or Styrofoamâ„¢

    Polystyrene Foam or Styrofoam™

    Styrofoam™ items of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart, even those labeled as a number 6 plastic. Styrofoam™ containers can be taken to your local grocery store for recycling or discarded in your grey cart. Other Styrofoam™ products can be taken to private drop-off recycling facilities.

  • Yard Waste

    Yard Waste

    Yard waste of any type is NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Residential solid waste accounts receive weekly curbside yard waste collection.

  • Pressurized Tanks

    Pressurized Tanks

    Pressurized tanks of any type, such as small propane camping tanks, fire extinguishers, tanks from gas grills, and helium tanks, are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Pressurized propane and helium tanks and fire extinguishers should be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste collection for proper disposal.

  • Construction and Demolition Debris

    Construction and Demolition Debris

    Construction and demolition debris of any type, such as wood, bricks, windows, scrap metal, shingles, concrete, pipes, tarps, and other construction material,  are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Construction items that are in good condition can be donated to your local Habitat for Humanity Restore for reuse. Small amounts of construction and demolition debris can be taken to a Community Collection Center. Large amounts can go to the Southeast County Landfill.

  • Cooking Ware, Dinning Ware, Drinking Glasses, Ceramics, and Cutlery

    Cooking Ware, Dinning Ware, Drinking Glasses, Ceramics, and Cutlery

    These items are NOT recyclable in your blue recycling cart. Pots, pans, cutlery, plates, and other cooking ware and dining ware that are in good condition can be donated to local charity organizations. Items in poor condition should be discarded in your grey garbage cart.

  • Cooking Oils

    Cooking Oils

    Cooking oils and grease of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Containers of used cooking oils can be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste collection or Cooking Oil Recycling Effort drop-off station.

  • Medications and Prescriptions

    Medications and Prescriptions

    Medications of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart and are NOT accepted at any Hillsborough County Solid Waste disposal sites. Medications should NOT be flushed down the drain. Citizens can properly dispose of unwanted and expired prescriptions, over the counter medicines, and veterinarian prescriptions at Hillsborough County Sherriff Office medication drop-boxes.

  • Clothing Hangers

    Clothing Hangers

    Clothing hangers of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Many local dry cleaners accept unwanted clothing hangers for reuse or recycling.

  • Rubber Items

    Rubber Items

    Rubber items of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Please dispose of rubber items, except tires, in your grey cart. Residents can dispose of tires at a Community Collection Center or the Southeast County Landfill.

Common Contaminants/Garbage (Grey Cart)

  • Food Waste

    Food Waste

    Food waste of any type is NOT recyclable in your blue cart. Vegetative food waste can be composted in your backyard or should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Snack and Candy Wrappers

    Snack and Candy Wrappers

    Food and candy wrappers of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Windows, Mirrors, and Ceramics

    Windows, Mirrors, and Ceramics

    Glass windows, mirrors, and ceramics of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items can be donated if they are in good condition or should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Fake Plants

    Fake Plants

    Fake or artificial plants or trees of any type and similar items are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Soiled Paper Items

    Soiled Paper Items

    Paper items that are soiled or soggy, such as used paper towels, tissue paper, and wet newspapers, are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Cords and Wires

    Cords and Wires

    Cords and wires of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Large Plastic Items

    Large Plastic Items

    Large plastic items such as plastic pools, tarps, coolers, plastic sheeting, and toys are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These can be donated for reuse if they are in good condition or should be disposed of in your grey cart.

  • Diapers

    Diapers

    Diapers of any type should be disposed of in your grey cart and are NOT recyclable.

  • Rope, Twine, or Straps

    Rope, Twine, or Straps

    Ropes, twine, straps, bungee cords, and similar items of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

  • Garden or Pool Hoses

    Garden or Pool Hoses

    Hoses of any type are NOT recyclable in your blue cart. These items should be discarded in your grey cart.

Important Note: The curbside residential recycling system is only designed to process certain program items. Placing non-program items or soiled recyclables in your cart contributes to contamination. Contamination in the recycling cart causes problems including: damaging equipment, creating health and safety hazards for workers, reducing the amount of recyclables that can be successfully recovered, and increasing the overall cost of the recycling process.

Even one item of contamination can potentially ruin the recyclability of other quality items in a load and prevent the entire load from being successfully recycled. Help make sure the recycling efforts by you and your neighbors aren’t in vain by remembering to only recycle clean, dry, and un-bagged program materials in your blue cart. Remember to “leave it out, when in doubt.” The good news is that discarding items in your grey cart is still “green” because your garbage is processed into renewable energy.

For information on how to order an additional recycling cart for your home or for scheduling repairs to an existing recycling cart please contact your service provider or request it here.