City of Memphis Recycling Instructions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City of Memphis Recycling Instructions

Recycling Guidelines   

Curbside Recycling Container
All homes serviced by City of Memphis Solid Waste Management are issued one 18-gallon tan recycling bin capable of holding one or more weeks worth of household recyclable material.

Curbside Recycling Collection Schedule
Curbside recycling collection is every week on the same day as garbage collection.

Recycle the Following Items:

  • Steel Cans - All steel food, beverage and empty aerosol cans are accepted. You can even leave the labels and lids attached.Rinsing is recommended but not required.
  • Aluminum Cans - All empty aluminum food and beverage cans accepted.Label removal and rinsing are not required.
  • Plastic Bottles - All empty plastic milk, soda and other bottles and small food containers with the recycling symbol #1 PETE or #2 HDPE, usually made into the container side or bottom. Remove caps and leave labels attached. Rinsing is recommended.
  • Glass Bottles and Jars - All empty clear, brown and green bottles and jars are accepted.You can leave labels attached, but remember to remove lids.Rinsing is not required.
  • Newspapers and Magazines - All magazines, phone books and clean, dry newspapers with inserts are acceptable. Just put your newspapers, magazines and phone books in paper bag (no plastic bags, please! They wrap around our sorting equipment) and lay the paper bag(s) flat on top of the other mixed items in your bin.
  • Office Paper and Mail/Bulk Mail - White and colored paper, envelopes, manila folders, stationery, notebook paper, sticky notes etc. Must be in a paper bag. Either place in paper bag with newspaper & magazines or put in another paper bag.
  • Corrugated, ‘cardboard', and paperboard packaging materials - Cardboard, cereal boxes, paper cups, moving boxes and corrugated packaging are accepted. Coated paperboard packaging used for boxed frozen items and over-the-counter medication are also accepted. Before placing packaging materials in bin, remove all plastic packaging, food and non-paper items. Box materials must be no wider than 24 inches and no longer than 48 inches. If the materials are larger than 24 inches, they must be cut down to 24 inches or less and may be placed in or under the recycle bin. If the materials are larger than 24 inches by 48 inches, they must be cut down to less than 24 inches by 48 inches.

Do Not Recycle the Following Items:

  • No plastic bags, plastic wrap, toys, large buckets, trays or anything with recycling numbers higher than those listed above will be accepted.
  • Do not use recycling bin for garbage or yard waste.


  • Your recycling bin is for recyclables only.
  • Place items in bin to reduce any chance the will blow or fall out.
  • Unacceptable items will be left in the bin for your disposal.
  • The more you recycle, the more room there is in your green cart and the less trash that goes to landfills.
Powered by Frankly