Frequently Asked Recycling Questions

Frequently Asked Recycling Questions

Q: Do I have to remove wrappers from aluminum cans and glass bottles and jars?

A: No, but please empty all remaining food and liquid from them and remove the caps lids (these should be placed in the trash). This will help keep your bin clean while aiding in the recycling process.

Q: What should I do with fluorescent light bulbs?

A: Residents are encouraged to take fluorescent light bulbs to one of the City's biannual Household Chemical & Electronics Collection Days (the last Saturday of April and October) or to one of the household chemical collection sites in Hillsborough County. Contact the City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Mangement at 813-348-1111 for further information.

Q: Can cardboard be recycled with the newspapers?

A: Yes, but cardboard must be flattened and cut down to fit in your blue bin (a maximum of 3 ft squares). If you have large quantities of cardboard, you may take it to the McKay Bay Refuse-To-Energy Facility at 107 N. 34th St. for free drop off.

Q: Can I recycle yogurt and cottage cheese containers?

A: Yes. Please recycle narrow neck plastic bottles only such as soda and water bottles, cleaning products such as window cleaner, bathroom products such as shampoo and other food items such as ketchup etc. They must be marked with the recycling symbol and #1 -7.

Q. Can I recycle aerosol and other steel cans?

A: Yes, you may place them in your blue bin.

Q. Can I recycle batteries?

A: Yes, but currently the City does not have a battery recycling program. Learn more...

Q: Where do the recyclables collected at the curb go?

A: Markets for recyclables fluctuate a great deal. Depending on market values, the City may receive some revenue for materials, which will then be put towards the overall program cost. All materials go through an intermediate processor who prepares the materials for markets and ship them to the various paper mills and plastic or glass or aluminum plants. With the expansion of our curbside program in 2008, materials are now being sorted at the processing facility rather than at the curb by the drivers. This increases convenience for our customers and allows us to add more items to the list already of those already accepted for recycling.

Q: What happened to the drop-off centers?

A: The drop-off centers were available for residents of the City of Tampa who did not have curbside recycling. As all residents with curbside garbage service now have curbside recycling service, there is no longer a need for the drop-off centers.

Q: What if I live in an apartment complex? Will the City provide recycling at our condo/apartment complex?

A: Yes, currently we will provide containers for residents to recycle for a one-time fee. In the future, the Department will be making changes to the billing process so there will be a pick up fee in addition to the container fee. The monthly charge will be based on number and size of containers required and frequency of service. Written permission from the apartment or condominium manager/owner must be secured before a program can be implemented. Call the Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management Customer Service line at 813-348-1111 for further assistance.

Q: How is the success of the recycling program measured?

A: One determinate of success is participation. Placing your blue box out once a month for collection is considered participating.

Q: What about yard waste? When is it collected?

A: Solid Waste crews provide once a week yard waste collection service to all areas of the city.  Yard waste must be bundled and / or containerized. Containers are not provided by the city for this service.

Q. Does the City have any type of composting program?

A. No, but the Hillsborough County Extension conducts workshops.

Q: Who can I call with questions?

A: For general questions about recycling, call the City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management Customer Service line at 813-348-1111.