How to Recycle

Recycle Right in Cuyahoga County

No matter where you live in Cuyahoga County, you can include aluminum cups, cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper and boxes along with plastic bottles and jugs in your home recycling. Reduce your trash when you combine only these items in your curbside recycling.

Some communities may be able to include additional items such as plastic tubs, plastic to-go cups and paper cups in curbside recycling.

Recycle better, recycle right. Check the list of recycling material do's and don'ts (with color codes) below.

[video] See our "Wishcycler" video series.

5 Ways to Recycle Right

  1. Leave recyclables loose – not bagged. Plastic bags do not belong in your recycling bin or cart. Plastic bags get tangled in the sorting machines at the recycling facilities and cause major problems for the recycling process. Plastic shopping bags can be recycled at many retail locations, including Giant Eagle, Lowe's Home Improvement, Marc's, Target and Walmart stores. 
  2. Make sure it’s clean and empty. Rinse residue from cartons, containers, bottles and jars or any other recyclable that may contain food particles. Greasy pizza boxes are not accepted. 
  3. Keep it dry. When it comes to paper and cardboard, keeping it dry is imperative for the recycling process. Please flatten all cardboard boxes as well. 
  4. Don’t wishcycle. Think you can throw everything into your recycling bin and it will get sorted out at the recycling plant? Think again. Recycling only these core items is paramount: aluminum cups, cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper and boxes along with plastic bottles and jugs.  
  5. Join a social media community. Share a post. Do a story. Get engaged with the social media accounts in your community. You can find us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, YouTube, Nextdoor and LinkedIn.

Want to learn more or ask questions? Attend a free 'Recycle Right' webinar or presentation.


Combine only these five core items in your home or curbside recycling container. Keep them loose -- there is no need to bag them.


It's important to recycle correctly. Some items don't belong in your curbside recycling. Many items can be recycled, reused or donated elsewhere. Here are some examples.

Learn more about these items and more by clicking the link or using the "What Do I Do With?" search bar at the top of the page.


Some items require special handling for proper disposal.

Landfill (black)

Not everything can be recycled. Place these items in the trash.

Recycle Right Info Card

This quick reference card explains the do's and don'ts of curbside recycling, including items that should be recycled curbside, recycled elsewhere, disposed of properly or landfilled. 5.5" x 8.5" postcard. Request a copy of the card.

See more details about recycling programs in your community.

** NEW ** Guidance for Multi-Family Housing

Apartment buildings are commercial properties. Generally, municipalities do not provide curbside recycling services to commercial properties including apartment buildings and other multi-family housing units. The responsibility of setting up a recycling program typically rests with property managers, property owners or the boards of condominium and homeowners’ associations.

Global changes to recycling

Learn more about the worldwide changes to recycling and what factors determine if something can be recycled.

Want more details? See our recycling FAQs, read more about how recycling works or find specifics about recycling in your community.

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