Advanced Recycling Info

We know recycling can be confusing.
Here you'll find answers to the most common questions asked about Pierce County's recycling program.

If your question isn't answered here, please let us know!
Want to talk to a person?
Call (253) 798-2179, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Preparation
It's easy to prepare recyclables. Just follow these tips.
DO
doGive food/drink items a quick rinse to keep your cart clean and odor free
yesRemove and discard lids
(see tip for metal can lids below)
doFlatten cardboard boxes to save space in your cart
DON'T
don'tRemove can labels, plastic windows from envelopes or plastic spouts on cartons
don'tCrush cans
(it makes them harder to sort if you do)
don'tBag your recyclables—they
should be loose in the cart
Metal Can Lids
Loose lids, especially those with sharp edges, don't belong in your cart.
But if you leave the lid attached to the can you can recycle them together.

Follow these steps:
lid11.Leave the lid partially attached when you open the can.
lid22.Empty the can, rinse it out and push the lid inside.
lid33.Pinch can together at the top so the lid stays inside.
Cart Placement
Give your driver a hand by putting your cart in the right place on collection day.
cart placement
Can it go into my curbside recycling cart?
This list has detailed information about what is recyclable in your curbside cart or at recycling centers in Pierce County. The information below applies to customers in Pierce County's system only (Find information for City of Tacoma here).

Use our online recycling menu to find options for things that don't belong in your curbside cart.
  1. Paper
  2. Plastic
  3. Metal
  4. Glass
Books, hardcover
trashTrash
Books, paperback
recycleRecycle
Boxboard, paperboard
recycleRecycle
Cereal, cracker, pasta, tissue, detergent boxes
Cardboard cans
trashTrash
Pringles, juice concentrate
Cardboard, corrugated
recycleRecycle
Flatten boxes to save space in your cart.
Cartons, milk/juice
recycleRecycle
Refrigerated, gable top. Plastic spouts are ok.
Cartons, soup/soy milk
trashTrash
Non-refrigerated, aseptic
Coffee trays
recycleRecycle
To carry to-go cups
Cotton balls/pads
trashTrash
 
Cups
trashTrash
Disposable coffee and fast food drink cups
Disposable mop cloths
trashTrash
Swiffer cloths
Dryer sheets
trashTrash
 
Egg carton
recycleRecycle
 
Envelopes
recycleRecycle
Windows do not need to be removed
Envelopes, padded
trashTrash
 
Ice cream carton
trashTrash
 
Juice boxes
trashTrash
 
Magazines
recycleRecycle
 
Mail
recycleRecycle
 
Napkins
trashTrash
 
Newspapers
recycleRecycle
 
Paper (ALL)
recycleRecycle
Copy, writing, ruled, colored, construction, etc.
Paper towels
trashTrash
 
Paper towel rolls
recycleRecycle
 
Parchment paper
trashTrash
Used for cooking
Pet food bags
trashTrash
 
Phone books
recycleRecycle
 
Photographs
trashTrash
 
Pizza box, greasy
trashTrash
Never put pizza boxes in your yard waste container.
Pizza box, NO grease
recycleRecycle
Must be clean. Never put in your yard waste container.
Plates
trashTrash
 
Popcorn bag
trashTrash
 
Receipts
trashTrash
 
Ribbons, bows
trashTrash
 
Sanitizing wipes
trashTrash
Lysol wipes, etc.
Shredded paper
recycleRecycle
In paper bag, roll top down. Best = Free shred events.
Take-out containers
trashTrash
 
Tissues
trashTrash
 
Tissue paper
trashTrash
 
Toilet paper rolls
recycleRecycle
 
Wax paper
trashTrash
 
Wrapping paper, foil
trashTrash
Foil and metallic paper cannot be recycled
Wrapping paper, plain
recycleRecycle