recycling in LA | Chelsea Robinson Realtor Tarzana Home | Encino and Sherman Oaks Real Estate Agent and Houses for Sale

The City of Los Angeles currently operates the largest residential curbside recycling program in the United States, collecting a variety of recyclables from over 750,000 households every week. It collects an average of 800 tons per day of recyclable materials and 1,700 tons per day of green waste from Los Angeles City residents.

However, recycling can still seem like an enigma to some people, and that is okay. We all know that paper, glass, and plastic are bound for the blue recycling bin. But what about greasy pizza boxes and light bulbs? What about broken glass? Can wood be recycled? All these objects deserve a pause over their placement, leaving many of us mystified over their final origin.

Luckily, there are answers to be had within the mysterious world of the blue bins. Via the Bureau of Sanitation, here’s what we found can be included in easy, curbside recycling in the city of Los Angeles.

Items to be recycled in the Blue Bin:


All clean dry paper, including:

  • Computer paper
  • Ledger paper
  • Arts and craft paper
  • Unwanted mail
  • Flyers
  • Telephone books
  • Note cards
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • File folders
  • Paper bags
  • Post-it notes
  • Catalogs
  • All envelopes, including those with windows


All cardboard boxes and chipboard, including:

  • Cereal boxes
  • Tissue boxes
  • Dry food boxes
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Detergent boxes
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • Cardboard boxes (broken down and flattened)


  • All refrigerated, shelf-stable, aseptic packaging, including:
  • Fruit juice boxes and cartons
  • Orange juice cartons
  • Milk cartons
  • Wine boxes
  • Soy milk, rice milk and almond milk boxes and cartons
  • Cereal boxes
  • Heavy cream cartons
  • Egg substitute cartons


All aluminum, tin, metal, and bi-metal cans wiped out if possible, including:

  • Soda Cans
  • Juice Cans
  • Soup Cans
  • Vegetable cans
  • Pet food cans
  • Pie tins
  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Empty paint and aerosol cans
  • Wire hangers


All glass bottles and jars, wiped out if possible, including:

  • Soda bottles
  • Wine bottles
  • Beer bottles
  • Spaghetti sauce jars
  • Pickle Jars
  • Broken bottles


All plastics numbers 1 through 7

  • Empty plastic containers, wiped out if possible, including:
  • Soda bottles
  • Juice bottles
  • Detergent containers
  • Bleach containers
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Lotion bottles
  • Mouthwash bottles
  • Dishwashing liquid bottles
  • Milk Jugs
  • Tubs of margarine and yogurt
  • Plastic planters
  • Food and blister packaging
  • Rigid clamshell packaging
  • All clean plastic bags (grocery bags, dry cleaner bags, and film plastics)
  • All clean polystyrene products (plates, cups, containers, egg cartons, block packaging, and packing materials)
  • Plastic hangers
  • Non-electric plastic toys
  • Plastic swimming pools
  • Plastic laundry baskets
  • Car seats (cloth removed)

Items that belong in the Black Bin:

If these items are placed in the blue container, there’s a likelihood of contaminating the other clean materials. Please ensure that the items placed in the blue container are clean and free from contaminants.

Contaminated Paper

  • Heavily soiled papers or bags with oils or food waste should be placed inside the black bin.


  • Window glass
  • Mirror glass
  • Auto glass
  • Standard light bulbs
  • Crystal
  • Ceramics

Miscellaneous Materials

  • Cloth/fabric
  • Mini blinds
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Lawn furniture
  • Garden Hoses
  • Rubber Tires
  • Construction materials, including asphalt or concrete, wood and wood products

Electronic Waste

  • All electronic devices
  • Electrical cords and wiring
  • Electric or battery operated toys
  • Appliances
  • Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs
  • All batteries (including car batteries, household batteries, and rechargeable batteries)

Hazardous Materials:

  • Syringes and needles
  • Medical waste
  • Drugs (pills, liquids, gel caps, vials, and injectables)
  • All partially filled aerosol cans and containers for cleaning fluids, automotive fluids, pesticides, oil-based paint, garden chemicals, and pool cleaners

Finally, if you are about to recycle something that can be reused, consider donating it to L.A. Shares. This is a non-profit program that takes donations of reusable goods and materials from the local business community. Tax-deductible, your donations can be office supplies, furniture, paper products, art supplies and more. Computers are acceptable if they are of recent incarnation due to software requirements. L.A. Shares will then redistribute your items to various non-profits or schools. Here’s a complete list of possible items to donate.

If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.

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