Recyclable Items

Many materials can be recycled through curbside recycling programs or recycling centers. Below are common recyclable items showing some examples with instructions and tips on how to prepare the various items for recycling.

Effective November 15, 2010, the City of San Diego’s curbside recycling program expanded to accept new and additional types of plastics. City residents can now recycle most plastic food containers and non-food plastics. New acceptable plastic food packaging containers include round yogurt and dairy tubs, clear PET #1 clamshell plastic, drink cups, deli trays, and berry baskets. All containers must be clean and contain no food waste or trash. Residents in other areas of San Diego County serviced by a private hauler are encouraged to recycle these items as well, as all other haulers servicing San Diego County are now accepting all rigid plastics as well.

Aluminum Cans

Aluminum Cans Examples
  • Soda
  • Water
  • Coffee and Tea Drinks
  • Sports Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Beer and Malt Beverages
  • Wine Coolers and Distilled Spirit Coolers
  • Be sure to rinse cans.
  • California Refund Value(CRV) vending machines will not accept pre-crushed cans.
Special Note

In California, many beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal require a deposit (the refund value). This deposit is:

  • 5¢ for containers under 24 ounces
  • 10¢ for containers 24 ounces or larger

The containers will have CRV, CA Redemption Value or CA Refund written on the label. Your deposit can be collected at any certified redemption center.  Visit ILACSD's One-stop Recycling Resource or call ILACSD’s Recycling Hotline 1-800-237-BLUE to find the nearest recycling center to you.

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Steel Cans

Steel Cans Examples
  • Pure steel cans
  • Cans with a thin tin coating
  • Soup cans
  • Pet food cans
  • Beverages
  • Empty Aerosols
  • Empty, water-based Paint cans
  • Be sure to rinse cans before recycling.
  • Empty spray cans completely.
Special Note
If a magnet sticks to the can, it's definitely steel.
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Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard Examples

Boxes and other items made of waffle-type corrugated cardboard


Flatten boxes and remove plastic tape

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White Office Paper

White Office Paper Examples
  • Copy paper
  • Typing paper
  • Computer paper
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Mixed Paper

Mixed Paper Examples
  • Colored paper
  • Glossy newspaper inserts
  • magazines
  • brochures
  • junk mail
  • manila envelopes
  • chipboard
  • paperboard
  • phone books
  • envelopes (With or without plastic windows)

Flatten cereal and food boxes.

Special Note
Plastic or wax-coated paper or tissue items are not recyclable.
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Glass Examples
  • Glass jars
  • Juice Bottles
  • Wine Bottles
  • Remove lids
  • rinse
Special Note
Other glass items such as Pyrex, window glass, ceramics, and light bulbs are not currently recyclable.
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Newspaper Examples
  • News print
Don't tie with string.
Special Note
Recyclers prefer dry, stacked newspaper.
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Plastic Examples
  • CRV bottles
  • Narrow-Necked bottles
  • Screw-Top beverage bottles
  • Milk Jugs
  • Water Jugs
  • Rinse containers
  • remove caps
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Appliances & Electronics Examples
  • refrigerators
  • computers
  • TVs
  • cell phone
  • stereos
  • For information about recycling these and other appliances and electronics
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Motor Oil

Motor Oil Instructions
  • Free disposal is now available at More Than 250 recycling centers throughout the county. Find one near you by:
  • Curbside collection of motor oil is now available in many unincorporated county areas, as well as some cities. Ask your recycling/trash hauling company if they offer this convenient service.
Special Note

Motor oil is a serious pollutant to California’s soils and groundwater.

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Miscellaneous Items Examples
  • Asphalt / Concrete
  • Furniture
  • Household Items
  • Mattresses
  • Radiators
  • Scrap Metal
  • Tires
  • Toilets / Bath Fixtures
  • Videotapes
  • Water Heaters
  • Yard / Wood Waste
  • For information about recycling these and other items
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