Recycling at Home
An Everyday Way to Help Fight Global Climate Change!
City Residential Recycling Collection
The City provides "single stream" recycling collection services through a contract with Bates Trucking to approximately 20,000 single family homes.
- Electronics Recycling - The City is proud to announce its association with Service Source, a local non-profit organization employing handicapped labor here in Alexandria. Service Source is providing recycling services for all types of electronic equipment and computers at our Public Recycling Drop Off site located at 3224 Colvin St. For more information about Service Source and this important program, please visit our Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling web page.
- Sign Up for Solid Waste & Recycling eNews
Would you like to receive more information about recycling and solid waste programs? Need a quick reminder when refuse service will be delayed due to a holiday? With the City of Alexandria's Free eNews service you can receive updates about recycling and solid waste plus over 80 additional topics that interest you.
New Recycling Container System
The Resource Recovery Division now uses a variable size recycling container system for its residential recycling program. The new wheeled and lidded carts provide more capacity and make it easier for residents to transport their recycling to the curb or alley for collection. For more information about the Residential Recycling Program, please review the Frequently Asked Questions Flyer.
Top 10 Things to Know about the New Recycling Carts
Recycling Container Sizes
|| 18-gal Bin
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Request a Recycling Container Exchange
Is your new recycling container too small or too large? The Resource Recovery Division is accepting requests for recycling container exchanges.
To request a new and/or replacement bin for a damaged or missing recycling bin, please use our on-line problem reporting system. If you need further assistance, call Call.Click.Connect. at 703-746-HELP(4357).
- Your recycling container exchange will usually occur on your recycling collection day.
- Please ensure that your current recycling container is accessible to the crews on your recycling collection day.
**Note: ONLY City Trash and Recycling Customers (those who pay the Solid Waste User Fee) are eligible for the City issued recycling containers. To determine if you are eligible visit: realestate.alexandriava.gov, then click on search properties and enter your address, then click on tax history. You should be able to see a Solid Waste User Fee assessed for each tax year.
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General Recycling Collection Information
The City of Alexandria provides recycling containers to all residents and collects recycling once a week on a designated collection day, Monday through Thursday.
Note: The recycling container is property of the City of Alexandria and assigned to each property. Please do not relocate the recycling containers or remove them from their assigned property.
Recycling Program Funding
Recycling collection and recycling bins are paid for through the Solid Waste User Fee that each customer is assessed on their bi-yearly tax assessment bill. These fees may be found online on the City's Fee Compendium Page.
Schedule of Collection
Trash and recycling are collected once weekly, Monday through Thursday. Please refer to the Refuse Map to determine your collection day.
Recycling Set Out Time
Set out refuse and recycling containers no earlier than 5 p.m. the day prior to collection, and no later than 6 a.m. on collection day:
- Holiday "Slide" - If a City recognized holiday is observed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, refuse and recycling collection 'slides' to one day later that week (except for Thanksgiving when refuse and recycling crews provide a Thursday collection on schedule). Click here for the Holiday Collection Calendar.
- Inclement Weather - If there is a delay for inclement weather, residents will be notified through the City Website and eNews.
Recycling Set Out Placement
- All residents should be setting their recycling containers (both carts and bins) in the same location where they receive trash service.
- Please ensure that your trash and recycling containers do not block sidewalks, driveways, etc.
Plastic Garbage bags - Plastic garbage bags should not be used to collect recyclables or placed in Alexandria's residential recycling program.
- Plastic bags become tangled in the recycling processing machines causing damage and higher costs to recycling.
- Non-clear plastic bags also obscure the bags contents making them unacceptable for collection. Such bags will be treated as trash.
For elderly and physically-challenged residents, collection crews will remove trash and recycling from containers at the door. Residents can request this service by mailing a completed Backdoor Request Form to:
Resource Recovery Division
RE: Walk-Out Service Request
2900B Business Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22314
If you have further questions, please call: 703-746-HELP(4357).
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The City's Residential Recycling Program Accepts:
- Mixed Paper - White / Color paper, office paper, newspaper, junk mail, magazines, phone books, paperback and hard-covered books, paper board boxes including cereal / tissue / cracker boxes, etc.
Note: Please remove the newspaper from any plastic bags before recycling.
- Cardboard - Clean, unwaxed cardboard may be recycled in your cart along with all other acceptable recyclables. Larger cardboard boxes should be broken down to fit inside the cart or set beside the cart for recycling collection. Please remove any styrofoam, plastic packaging or other contents!
- Empty pizza boxes are acceptable
- Any cardboard boxes containing trash will be collected along with the regular trash collection and not recycled.
- Gable Top Cartons and Juice containers - Refrigerated Milk and Juice cartons are now recyclable in the City's residential recycling collection.
Please visit Earth911.com for more information.
- Glass Bottles & Jars - please empty all contents and fluids before recycling.
- Note: Window glass and drinking glasses are not acceptable
- All Plastic Bottles, Jugs, Jars, Tubs, Pails, and Buckets -
- Lids are now acceptable for all plastic, glass and metal containers. Simply leave them on the container when recycling.
- Remember - the number on the bottom does not necessarily determine its recyclability.
- Please read the article "Recycling Plastic: Complications and Limitations" for more information about recycling plastics.
- Metal Food & Beverage Containers Only - Learn how to recycle your small metal items below.
- Shredded Paper - Please place all shredded paper in a paper bag, folded shut.
- Opaque plastic bags with unknown contents will be treated as trash.
View the City's "Yes/No List" for information on what is recyclable in the residential recycling collection program.
The markets for recycled materials are constantly changing. As these markets change so does the recyclability of various commodities. Please review our Residential Yes/No List for changes to the currently acceptable recycled materials.
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- Plastic Bags / Film - Disposable plastic shopping bags and other plastic films are best recycled in dedicated collection points such as grocery and department stores.
- Please do not put recyclables in plastic bags.
- Place your recyclables loosely in your City recycling bin or cart. This helps with the sorting of recyclables at our local processing facility.
- Non-food & beverage metal containers (i.e. metal blinds, pots & pans, etc.) These items can be recycled at the Covanta facility located on Eisenhower Ave..
- Wire clothes-hangers - Wire hangers are "springy" and can pose an eye hazard to workers as well as damage sorting machines at the MRF
- Return hangers to your favorite dry cleaners for reuse or recycle them at the Covanta metals recycling box noted above.
- Waxed covered paper (i.e. political signs, wax cooking paper, waxed cardboard etc.)
- Ceramic Cups and Glasses
- Styrofoam and Packing Peanuts
- Plastic cups, trays and containers: While all plastics are potentially recyclable, the market dictates which types of plastics are currently acceptable. For more information on recycling plastics, please read the following article "Recycling Plastic: Complications and Limitations." Plastic items that are typically non-recyclable include:
- Clam shell type plastic fruit or salad containers
- Vacuum formed plastic yogurt cups and other packaging
- Styrofoam cups and trays
- Small / large propane tanks (i.e. camping stove propane tanks).
- Helium Tanks
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Simple Recycling Guidelines
- Remove newspapers from plastic bags before recycling.
- Empty and rinse all beverage and food containers.
- Place all recycled materials loosely into your recycling cart or bin. Do not bag your recycling inside your cart or bin.
- Empty and place small cardboard boxes into your recycling container. Larger cardboard boxes may be flattened and placed next to recycling container for weekly collection.
- Clearly set your recycling apart from your trash to avoid confusion at collection
Not enough space in your recycling container?
- Do not use plastic garbage or grocery bags to hold recyclable materials.
- Paper grocery bags or cardboard boxes may be used to hold temporary overflows of recycling for weekly collection.
- Use your old yellow recycling bin for overflow days.
- Request a larger recycling container. The City has 18 gallon bins as well as 35 and 65 gallon carts available.
- Use the Recycling Drop-off Centers for large volumes of recycled materials.
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Frequently Asked Questions
For a brief history of the city's recycling program, click here.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions page for the answers to many of your questions. If you can't find the answer to your question on this page, please contact the Resource Recovery Division at 703-746-4410 for more information.
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