(Twitter Photo/@TalkingTrashPHX)

When talking to environmental experts in the area about how we can do more to move towards a sustainable future, the one thing they ask is for more people to practice proper recycling procedures. One bag of garbage thrown into a recycling bin, either on purpose or by accident, can contaminate a whole recycling load. Reviewing the recycling guidelines and rules will help Phoenix residents get a better handle on proper recycling. 

If we have the luxury of continuously taking from mother nature’s resources, paper, food, glass, and other materials, it’s part of our responsibility to give back. Follow along in this easy guide to see if you are recycling properly in Phoenix.

  • Step number one: for recycling in Phoenix, proper sorting. This ensures your curbside recycling actually gets recycled, instead of ending up in the landfill. Full details below. 
  • Containers with liquid or food can spoil everyone’s recycling in a collection truck.
  • Gunk on plastic makes it less likely to get recycled.
  • Shake or wipe liquid or food out of containers (no need to rinse them).
  • Plastic shopping and garage bags are not recyclable! Do not bag up your recyclables and toss them into the blue bin. Drop them out of your bags into the bin.
  • Garage bags are not opened at recycling-sorting facilities. So, if your recycling is in a black bin bag, it will go to a landfill. 
  • Non-recyclable materials can cause the equipment to jam up or break down.
  • Items such as hoses, wire hangers, plastic bags, and string lights work their way into the belts and joints of the machinery. 

Phoenix Headed to Zero Waste!

It’s a lofty goal but can absolutely be accomplished with everyone’s involvement.

  • In order to reach the city’s zero waste goal by 2050, the Zero Waste Team provides education and community outreach to teach the community about waste diversion. 
  • This includes group tours of the city’s North Gateway Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), educational presentations to schools, neighborhood and community meetings, and hosting informational booths at community events. 
  • Please visit the Residential Recycling page for more information about the city’s programs. 


NOTES: For Recycling in Phoenix

Cardboard: food boxes, shipping boxes, tubes (breakdown boxes).

Cartons: empty juice, milk, and soup in cartons or boxes.

Glass: jars and bottles, caps and lids OK to include.

Metal: aluminum trays, aluminum foil bits- save them all into a ball.

Paper: envelopes with plastic window OK; magazines (glossy material ok); clean paper bags; coffee cup, sleeve, and lid; wrapping paper.

NO FOOD! That goes into….composting!


Of all the beautiful food grown in the U.S., 40% of it is not eaten and as a result, 95% of food waste goes to the landfill/incinerator. You can change that! 

  • R.City is the Phoenix composting service that turns your food scrap into rich material for local farmlands.  
  • It does not matter if you live in a house, apartment, or condo, R.City supplies everything you need to start composting today. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly service plans are available to fit your lifestyle.
  • Sign up for a free trial and get composting service right at your door.
  • It is a subscription service, but it’s only $10 a month for residential homes.
  • Absolutely affordable and you will literally be amazed and how much material you can keep out of the trash and landfills by composting.


Compostable containers: bags, cups, plates, bowls, and utensils must be labeled “compostable”.

Dirty paper:  napkins, greasy paper bags, paper plates, paper towels, tissue paper, and tissues.

Food containers: greasy pizza boxes, paper food containers, paper take-out boxes.

Food scraps: coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, meat bones, seafood shells, paper tea bags, and spoiled food.


Acceptable Green Organics

The following list represents the items that can be placed in your Green Organics container

  • Branches
  • Lawn clippings
  • Tree fruit and garden debris
  • Untreated wood 
  • Cactus
  • Large animal manure
  • Creosote
  • Oleander
  • Pyracantha

​Unacceptable items

The following materials SHOULD NOT be placed in the Green Organics container as these materials contaminate the green organics load and make them unusable for mulching and repurposing:

  • Palm fronds
  • Bags
  • Treated and painted wood
  • Blocks and bricks
  • Construction debris
  • Food waste
  • Dirt and rock
  • Pet waste
  • Trash
  • Cups and other fast food containers
  • Hoses
  • Tarps
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Diapers
  • Broken Tools

Learn more and sign up HERE if not involved already.


Reusing, selling, donating, and recycling unwanted items is an important component of growing a Circular Economy which is a large part of preserving the world’s environment and keeping it environmentally safe.

If you have several larger household items, jewelry, electronics, sporting equipment, or such that you no longer want AND don’t feel like dealing with, there is a simple stress-free solution with Remoov. Their service does it all. 

  1. Send them photos of your unwanted items (all categories). 
  2. You’ll receive an estimated price, then they pick up and sell, donate, or responsibly recycle it for you. 
  3. Other advantages include:
  • Multiple Platforms- Your item is listed on all their sales platforms- finding the “right” channel to sell a variety of items. Remoov uses its own consignment store and e-commerce platform, The Local Flea, as well as dozens of other potential resale channels to ensure your items are marketed to the largest audience possible and sold for you at the best price possible
  • Low Cost– You pay a pickup fee based on your item volume, but no additional storage fees after!
  • Value– Mint condition items are priced at around 70% of retail. Remoov can range from 20-70 % return on the original value, with a median of 45%. 
  • Professional Advantage– Integration with different marketplaces, and appraisers are all part of Remoov’s services and an advantage to you. Professional appraisers on staff provide accurate resale estimates as well as the best sales channels for each item.  These trained experts examine pieces to assess their value, determine authenticity, and as a result, can often uncover hidden gems.

The An All-In-One Service! 

Get started today and get a free estimate for your pickup! And for quick answers to all your questions check out the FAQ Page.

SOFT PLASTIC- This Difficult to Recycle Item Can Be Done!

Phoenix has a soft plastics recycling program which is amazing! This is a less common item that many states are finding more challenging to recycle. But Phoenix residents you have the option! About the program:

  • A collaboration between the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance (AFMA), Bag Central Station​​ was implemented in 2007 to divert plastic bags and soft plastics from the landfill as well as from the Phoenix recycling facilities. 
  • Soft plastic collection bins are found throughout Phoenix grocery stores. 
  • Soft plastics are thin, flexible, or film plastics that include plastic bags, plastic wrapping, or flexible packaging material. 
  • After dropping off your soft plastics at the grocery store, they are then sent to a recycler which turns the material into new bags, composite lumber, park benches, and other useful items. 

Acceptable Materials

  • Grocery & Retail bags
  • Air pillows
  • Case wrap
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Bread bags
  • Produce bags
  • Plastic cereal box liners
  • Zip-top food storage bags
  • Plastic wrap packaging

Not Accepted

  • Compostable bags
  • Pre-washed salad mix bags
  • Frozen food bags
  • Candy wrappers
  • Chip bags
  • Six-pack rings

Drop-off Locations

  • AJ’s
  • Albertson’s
  • Basha’s
  • Best Buy
  • Fry’s
  • Food City
  • IGA Family of Stores
  • Kohl’s
  • Los Altos Ranch Markets
  • Safeway
  • Sprouts Farmer’s Market
  • Target
  • Wal-Mart

NOTE: When you place a plastic bag or other soft plastic items in your recycling container, the plastic bag ends up jamming the machinery. The facility shuts down at least two times a day where workers have to cut bags out of the machinery. Here is an example of how plastic bags get caught in the machinery:

  • Do not place any soft plastics in your recycling container, and do not bag your recyclables. 
  • Keep all recyclables loose in your recycling container. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Check out this guide on “How To Responsibly Recycle Everything” including books, clothes, and electronics HERE.

#Upcycling #recycling #sustainable #ecofriendly #sustainability #sustainableliving #zerowaste #sustainablefashion #environment #eco #recycle #vegan #plasticfree #gogreen #savetheplanet #reuse #green #climatechange #slowfashion #natural #vintage #smallbusiness #ethical #tlf #remoov #recycleAZ #recyclephoenix