Do you live in an apartment, condo or other housing unit where more than one family shares the same garbage and recycling service? Garbage and recycling services in these settings is provided and paid for by property owners. If you’re unsure about what you can throw in recycling, or you need some tips and resources to share with your neighbors, check out the info below.

Do you own or manage an apartment complex, condo or other housing where multiple families share trash and recycling services?

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resident with recycling bag at apartment

Multifamily recycling and garbage

  • Plastics

    These go in the recycling –

    • Bottles – rinse
    • Plastic tubs – rinse, discard lids
    • Plastic buckets – 5 gallons or less, rinse if needed
    • Nursery pots – clean

    Plastic not allowed in the recycling –

    • Hoses, stretchy plastic, plastic bags, plastic wrap, plastic packaging, and motor oil or household hazardous waste bottles.
  • Paper & Cardboard
    Paper & Cardboard

    These go in the recycling –

    • Newspaper, magazines, junk mail, phone books, paper bags, cereal boxes, gift and shoe boxes, writing and printing paper.
    • Cartons (i.e. soy milk and soup boxes) – rinse
    • Cardboard – remove tape, flatten and cut down to fit inside cart

    Paper not allowed in the recycling –

    • To-go containers/cups, shredded paper, paper towels, napkins, dirty or food-soiled paper, loose shredded paper, diapers, wet-strength cardboard, and glue/tape.
  • Metal

    These go in the recycling –

    • Aerosol cans – MUST be empty to recycle, discard lids
    • Aluminum and tin cans – rinse
    • Scrap metal – less than 35 pounds, no larger than 24 inches in any dimension, remove any attached plastic, rubber or wood. NO automotive parts.

    Metal not allowed in the recycling –

    • Propane tanks, auto parts, electronics, batteries, sharp items, wire clothes hangers, appliances
  • Glass

    Glass goes into it's own, separate recycling cart. Do not put glass into mixed recycling.

    These go in glass recycling –

    • Glass bottles
    • Glass jars

    Not allowed in glass or mixed recycling –

    • Lids, ceramics, window glass, drinking glasses, light bulbs, etc.
    These go in the recycling cart –
  • Garbage

    It’s tempting to put some of these items in the recycling, but these items can contaminate the recyclables and should go in the garbage:

    • Plastic bags, plastic film, wrappers, plastic packaging
    • To-go containers, soiled paper, single-use items, disposable diapers, sanitary products
    • Block foam food packaging and cups
    • Freezer boxes and microwaveables
  • Bulky Items

    Bulky items like mattresses, furniture, shelves and desks cannot be disposed of in the garbage or recycling. Do not leave bulky items in garbage enclosures. Contact your property manager for disposal options or search the Recycling Widget below.

  • Household Hazardous Waste
    Household Hazardous Waste

    Do not dispose of these items in the garbage or recycling. All residents can take hazardous waste to hazardous waste facilities for free drop-off.

    • Automotive products, used oil
    • Chemicals
    • Mercury-containing items
    • Medication and sharps

HOW to recycle at your residence

Multifamily communities come in all shapes and sizes: apartments, dormitories, condominiums and more. Follow these steps to recycle right at your community:

  • Locate your nearest recycling area. Ask your property manager to show you. Recycling areas typically have roll carts, recycling dumpsters, or cages that are for collecting recycling. Glass roll carts are typically blue-green, and slightly smaller than mixed recycling carts.
  • Bring recyclables to the community recycling carts or containers. If you use a plastic bag to carry out recycling, never leave the plastic bag in the mixed recycling — you must empty contents first and either reuse or discard the plastic bag in the trash.


Why does it matter?

Recyclables (except glass) can be mixed together in your recycling cart or recycling dumpster. Mixed recycling goes into the recycle truck together and plastic, paper and metal items are separated by machines and hand-sorting at the recycling facility. Glass should always be recycled separately in your glass recycling cart.