Recycling Information for New Homeowners

Moving into a new home is an exciting and challenging experience. As you decide how to manage your electricity, water, gas and garbage collection services, now is also a great time to establish your recycling routine. The City of Lincoln has made it easy for you to help conserve natural resources and divert waste from the landfill. Just follow this guide:

Getting Started:

When arranging your garbage collection service, know that garbage collectors also offer recycling pickup. It’s easy, convenient and affordable. The weekly cost for this service is less than a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop.

You can mix most recyclables in one container, and wheeled bins are easy to roll to the curb on recycling collection day. Another option is to take your recyclables to one of the City’s conveniently-located public recycling drop-off sites for no fee. Find your nearest location using the map below .

More info:
Garbage and Recycling Collectors

Recycling Basics:

Start by focusing on the basics: paper, cardboard, cans and plastic bottles and tubs. These essential items are the easiest to divert from the landfill and process into new products. Make sure everything is empty and clean, because soiled or wet materials can cause your entire load to be sent to the landfill.

Special Items:

Plastic bags and glass are recyclable, but they must be separated from other recyclables. Plastic bags can jam sorting equipment, and broken glass in a recycling bin could mean that the entire load is sent to the landfill. Take bags to supermarket collection sites. Some recycling collectors do not accept glass (check with your collector), or take clean bottles and jars to city drop-off sites.

More info:
Be a Recycling Champion

Corrugated Cardboard Disposal Ban:

Clean and dry corrugated cardboard is not accepted in the landfill. (Lincoln Municipal Code 8.32.040). Corrugated cardboard, an easily recyclable material, is three layers of paper with a corrugated or rippled middle layer. Residents must ensure that clean, dry corrugated cardboard is not placed in trash containers. This helps dramatically reduce the amount of material going to Lincoln’s landfill.

More info:
Corrugated Cardboard Disposal Ban

Hazardous Waste:

Most refuse items can be recycled or placed in the trash, but some hazardous household items require special attention. Lincoln’s Hazardous Waste Center, 5101 N. 48th Street, is the convenient drop-off location for household toxic chemicals and hazardous waste. Visit for more details.

More info:
Lincoln's Hazardous Waste Center

Managing Yard Waste:

From April 1 to December 1, grass and leaves (including crabgrass and pine needles) cannot be mixed with other waste or placed in plastic bags for general waste collection. Tree trimmings, garden waste and weeds can be included with regular household garbage.

More info:
Yard Waste and Composting

Recycling Guidelines:

Please check with your collector. While most will accept the items below, some won’t take items such as glass, plastic bags and more.

  • Cardboard Boxes
    Cardboard boxes, corrugated cardboard, and paperboard packing
    Acceptable: Clean and dry corrugated cardboard and paper board packaging (e.g. cereal; frozen dinner boxes). Please flatten to help save space.
    Not Acceptable: Soiled or wet corrugated cardboard and paperboard.
  • Cans
    Aluminum and tin
    Acceptable: Aluminum cans; steel (tin) cans; aerosol cans. Empty and clean. Liquid and food residue must be removed. Labels are ok.
    Not Acceptable: Aluminum pans and foil; metal objects; hangers; cans containing food or liquid residue.
  • Glass Bottles and Jars
    Glass bottles and jars
    Acceptable: All empty and clean, clear, green and brown bottles and jars. Empty and clean. Labels are ok. (Some glass is not accepted from curbside recyclers).
    Not Acceptable: Window glass; drinking glass; mirrors; dishes and cups; vases; porcelain products. Glass bottles and jars with liquids or food residue.
  • Newspaper
    Acceptable: Newspaper and inserts; newsprint packing paper.
    Not Acceptable: Plastic bags; product samples; wet or soiled newspaper.
  • Plastic #1 - #5 Containers
    Plastic #1 through #5 containers
    Acceptable: Rigid plastic bottles where neck is smaller than body (cap and neck ring ok); food tubs 5 gallons or smaller. Empty and clean. Liquid and food residue must be removed. Labels are ok.
    Not Acceptable: Styrofoam products; motor oil or chemical containers; plastic plates, cups or eating utensils; plastic film (grocery sacks); metal of any kind; bulky rigid plastics larger than 5 gallons; flower pots; k-cups.
  • Residential Mixed Papers
    Residential mixed paper
    Acceptable: Mail, magazines catalogs; telephone directories; paperback books; molded paper egg cartons.
    Not Acceptable: paper plates; coffee cups; paper towels or tissues; soiled or wet paper.
More info:
Recycling Guidelines by Material

Recycling Drop-off Sites Available to Residents

    • Multi-material recycling sitesMulti-material
    • Cardboard only recycling sitesCardboard only

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