What Can Be Recycled

Blue Recycle Bin: CONTAINERS

blue recycle bin with recyclables inside 

All bottles, cans, and cartons must be empty and clean of food residue


Glass Bottles & Jars

various green, brown and clear recyclable glass bottles

  • Food and beverage glass only
  • Empty out all liquids
  • Clean out food residue
  • Remove lids, caps and corks
  • ❌ NO glass vases or drinking glasses
  • ❌ NO ceramics
  • ❌ NO broken glass or mirrors

Metal Cans (Steel & Aluminum)

various aluminum and steel recyclable metal cans

  • Empty out all liquids
  • Clean out food residue
  • Okay to place metal lids back in cans
  • ❌ NO need to crush of flatten cans
  • ❌ NO aluminum foil, pans or trays
  • ❌ NO scrap metal
  • ❌ NO stainless steel water bottles or thermoses

Plastic Bottles, Jugs, Jars & Tubs

various recyclable plastic bottles

  • Remove lids and caps
  • ❌ NO plastic bags, wrap, cups or tubes
  • ❌ NO Styrofoam® or foam materials
  • ❌ NO plastic clamshell, egg cartons or deli containers
  • ❌ NO plastic utensils or straws
  • ❌ NO microwavable trays

Cartons (Tetra Pak & Gable-top)

various recyclable cartons

  • Food and beverage cartons only
  • Rinse out with soap and water
  • Remove plastic caps
  • ❌ NO pouches or straws
  • ❌ NO take-out containers
  • ❌ NO need to crush or flatten cartons

Orange Recycle Bin: PAPERS

  orange recycle bin with recyclables inside

Remove all plastic bags and plastic wrap from papers


Cardboard Boxes

flattened cardboard boxes for recycling

  • Flatten boxes into pieces no larger than 4 ft. by 4 ft.
  • Remove any plastic film and packing materials (ex. Styrofoam)
  • Set flattened boxes in or under your orange bin
  • ❌ NO boxes with food residue, such as greasy pizza boxes


various recyclable paperboard boxes

  • Remove plastic windows from pasta and tissue boxes
  • Paper egg cartons are okay
  • ❌ NO bakery or donut boxes
  • ❌ NO paper plates or cups

Newspapers, Magazines & Phone Books

various recyclable newspapers, magazines and phone books

  • Remove plastic wrap and plastic bags
  • Peel off and discard any front-page newspaper sticky note ads
  • Remove and discard magnets from phone books
  • Paperback books and manuals are okay to recycle

Office Paper, Junk Mail & Paper Bags

grouping of recyclable office paper, junk mail and paper bags

  • Remove food and wrappings
  • Shredded paper must be placed inside a closed paper bag and labeled "Shredded Paper" on the outside of the bag (❌ NO plastic bags)
  • Plain wrapping paper is okay to recycle
  • ❌ NO glossy type gift bags
  • ❌ NO popcorn bags or pet food bags
  • ❌ NO bubble envelopes
  • ❌ NO wrapping paper or greeting cards with foil or glitter

Materials NOT Accepted for Recycling

No Plastic Bag red circle with line through it
❌ NO Plastic Bags
❌ NO Garbage or Food Waste

❌ NO Styrofoam or Take-out Boxes
❌ NO Batteries or Light Bulbs
❌ NO Cords or Coat Hangers
❌ NO Plastic Clamshells or Non-Rigid Plastics

When contaminants (items not accepted for recycling) make their way into the recycling stream, it increases the overall processing cost of recyclables. Contaminants cause damage to the expensive sorting equipment at the processing facility and devalue the marketability of the recyclables.

Any items not specifically listed as accepted for recycling in the Gainesville program should not be placed in your recycle bins. Examples of items NOT accepted for recycling include: any type plastic bags, shrink wrap, plastic mailing envelopes, foam or Styrofoam® materials, plastic air-pillows, to-go or take out boxes, plastic clamshell containers, six-pack rings, resealable storage bags, bubble wrap or bubble wrap envelopes, plastic straws, microwavable trays, plastic egg cartons, plastic utensils, coat hangers (plastic or metal), aluminum foil, aluminum pans or trays, scrap metal, pots or pans, appliances, full or partially full aerosol cans, stainless steel water bottles, thermoses, glassware, dishes, ceramics, silverware, broken glass, mirrors, light bulbs, juice pouches, paper towels, paper napkins, tissues, thermal paper cash register receipts, glossy photographs, paper straws, bakery boxes, paper plates or cups, coffee cups or lids, popcorn bags, pet food bags, glossy type gift bags, hardcover books, batteries, hazardous waste, electronics, electric cords, laundry baskets, yard edging, toys, or any food contaminated containers or papers.