Where Should I Recycle?

Successful recycling programs are those that make it easy for people to recycle, such as programs that provide residents with special containers for sorting their waste and collect the recyclables weekly along with the rest of the trash. Ease and convenience are the keys to success.

  • Curbside Collections - Residents leave their recyclables at the curb or in some other designated place where regular trash is picked up. Curbside collection programs boast the highest recycling rates.
  • Drop-Off Centers - When curbside recycling is not offered, there may be a community drop-off point or recycling center nearby.  Many stores are now facilitating easy recycling by installing collection bins for plastic bags and small electronics.  The challenge of this type of recycling is that it's success relies on the good will of residents to make the trip.
  • Deposits - Several states impose a 5 or 10-cent deposit on returnable bottles and cans to increase recycling and curb litter. Consumers get their deposits back when they return the containers to the store for recycling. 
  • Reverse Vending Machines - Typically found outside grocery stores, these machines accept used beverage containers and reimburse the depositor on the spot.
  • Pick-Up by Volunteers - This is recycling the old-fashioned way. Community groups, such as church groups and the Boy Scouts, collect recyclables to raise money for their clubs.

For more on the basics of recycling, visit EPA's recycling page, and to find recycling locations and programs near you, use Earth 911's recycling locator.