What is Recyclable Curbside?

There are many questions as to "what is recyclable and what isn't." To further complicate the issue, there are items that are recyclable, but just aren't accepted in your local curbside pickup program. This confusion about what can be thrown into the bin has developed from each city having different regulations on what can be recycled from the curb. We are working with local municipalities and waste haulers to try to create a unified, simple list of items that are universally accepted for recycling. For the items that are good to recycle but aren't accepted curbside, you can find dozens of drop-off locations on our locator map.

The following list contains generally accepted items that may be recyclable from your curbside recycling program in the Dallas/Fort Worth and the surrounding areas.


Recycle These Curbside

These items are always accepted in your recycling program. Please remember these simple tips for recycling:

  • Keep items empty, clean, and dry
  • Place items loose in the bin (don't bag them)
Mail, Junk Mail, Paper
Mail, Paper

Window envelopes and glossy papers are fine.

Magazines, Newspapers
Newspapers, Magazines

No need to worry about glossy pages or sticker ads.

Cardboard Box
Cardboard Boxes

Flattened, box tape still on them is fine.

plastic bottles
Plastic Bottles

Water and soda bottles are extremely valuable in the recycling stream. Always recycle these!

Soda Cans
Aluminum Cans

Soda cans are a valuable recyclable and can be back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.

Food Cans
Food Cans

Tin/Steel cans are a high value item. Rinse food out please!

Paperboard Boxes
Paperboard Boxes

Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, pasta boxes, pantry item boxes are all made of highly recylable paperboard. Empty and trash inner plastic bags.

Glass jars
Glass Bottles/Jars

Unless glass is specifically listed as a non-accepted item, it is acceptable. All colors glass bottles and jars.

Juice and Milk Cartons
Juice/Milk Cartons

Cartons are made of a special coated paperboard that is accepted in recycling streams.

Trash These

These items listed are those most commonly found to be incorrectly placed in the recycle bin and should always go in the trash. Putting these items in the recycle bin damages recycling sorting equipment, which adds to the cost of recycling or it creates dangerous situations for recycling facility staff.

Shell Food Containers
Clam Shell Containers

Berry containers or food containers are a no-value item and are often contaminated with food residue so we request these go in the trash.

Garden Hose
Garden Hose

A common tangler that breaks recycling equipment.

Metal Chains

A common tangler that breaks recycling equipment.


Construction materials do not belong in the recycling stream.

Oil and Fertilizer Containers
Hazardous Materials

Paint, pesticides, fertilizer, or their containers. Take these to household hazardous waste collection facilities or events.

Propane Tank
Propane Tanks

Very dangerous for many reasons. Take these back to a vendor.

Drinking Glasses
Drinking Glasses

While glass as a category is recyclable, drinking glasses and window glass panes are typically not accepted and belong in the trash.

Wire Hangers
Wire Hangers

Wire and plastic hangers both belong in the trash.

Wrapping Paper
Wrapping Paper/Gift Bags

Wrapping paper is typically coated with foil, glitter, or other items. Put wrapping paper in the trash. For a more sustainable wrapping paper option, use craft paper or newspaper instead.

Ceramic Dishes

Dishes, plates, bowls, and other ceramic items may have an extended life if taken to a reuse store, otherwise they belong in the trash.


The tissues themselves should go in the trash (even clean ones). Used tissues always go in the trash, that's just gross. Once your box is empty, you can recycle the paperboard box.

Recycle These Separately

These items are valuable to recycle and keep out of the landfill, but aren't accepted curbside for various reasons. For these items you can find dozens of drop-off locations around North Texas on our locator map.

Plastic Grocery Bag
Plastic Bags

Plastic grocery bags get caught in recycling equipment and cause down time. Take these back to your local grocery store. You can get cloth, reusable grocery bags to reduce use of plastic bags.


Batteries regularly cause fires in recycling trucks and facilities. Recycle these at a drop-off location near you.

Styrofoam Packaging
Styrofoam Packaging

Dense styrofoam packaging can be recycled by taking back to a drop-off location. Typically, packing peanuts are not accepted.

Shredded Paper
Shredded Paper

Shredded paper causes large amounts of unsafe dust particles at the recycling sorting facility so please do not place in your curbside pickup. Instead take it to shred day events.

Light Bulbs
Light Bulbs

Various types of light bulbs are recyclable but must be dropped off at a participating retailer.

Food Waste
Food Waste

Never put food waste in your recycle bin. Try composting instead.


Clothes can be reused or recycled into a variety of products, but must be taken to a drop-off location.