Household Recycling and Trash MADE SIMPLE | Printable Version
Sort Recyclables into Two Types
- Put all household recyclables together in the same container(s). Reference the list of Materials Accepted to determine items that are recyclable and can be picked up curbside.
- Yard waste should be set out separately. If not containerized, branches must be tied into bundles (not to exceed 4 ft/ length or 4" diameter).
- For leaves, grass, brush and branches, you can use biodegradable paper yard waste bags or a reusable container made of metal or rigid plastic, equipped with handles, and marked with an “X” on all sides.. Each "X" must be large enough to be visible to the collection crew. The "X" lets the collection crew know it’s recycling.
- Do not place yard waste in a reusable fabric bag or County issued 35, 65, or 95-gallon yellow container. Non-rigid, lightweight containers, including fabric, plastic, collapsible mesh, or similar reusable bags, are not an acceptable container for yard waste for the following reasons:
- Difficult to recognize at the curb as a yard waste container
- Difficult to completely empty; twigs, sticks, small branches, and similar materials tend to become tangled inside them
- Can be mistakenly taken as a trash item
- Difficult to secure once emptied; may be blown away before retrieval
- Items not accepted as yard waste include: tree stumps, food waste, bamboo, flower pots or tray, sawdust, dirt, mulch, sod, lumber, treated wood, pallets, and gumballs (Sweetgum seed pods).
- Plastic bags and plastic film are no longer accepted in the curbside recycling program. Return clean and dry bags to a local grocery store or County Recycling Center for recycling.
- Polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, is not accepted for recycling.
- Do not put paper, plastic, metal, and glass recyclables inside of plastic bags. Keep materials loose and unbagged in the same recycling container.
- Paper yard waste bags should never be used to contain shredded paper or other household recyclables for curbside collection. Click here for instructions on packing shredded paper.
- Plastic, glass, and metal containers accepted with curbside recycling do not need to be fully cleaned in order to be recycled. However, containers must be empty of all contents.
- Anne Arundel County now accepts clean, empty glass food and beverage bottles and jars of any color, shape, or size at all of its recycling centers. Just look for the specially marked recycling dumpster or ask an attendant, then sort the glass into 3 groups (Clear - Brown - Mixed glass (green, blue, yellow, red, etc.)) Note: Customers may continue to place glass bottles and jars with lids and labels into their yellow recycling containers or in the single-stream dumpster at any Recycling Center.
- Shredded paper is accepted for recycling, but it must be contained inside of a paper bag or envelope and then taped or stapled shut. You can put it with your other curbside recyclables or drop it off at your nearest recycling center.
- Recycle every week so your recycling containers won't be too heavy for you or the collectors. (Loaded containers cannot weigh more than 40 lbs. each.) This does not apply to residents using the County recycling carts.
- Use containers that one person can lift from the curb to the recycling truck. Containers must have handles.
- There is no limit on the amount of recyclables you can put out for collection.
- Keep your yard and street clean by securing papers and other light weight items inside your recycling cart so they won’t blow around before the recycling truck arrives. For residents using the round open top recycling container, place heavier items on top and don't load the container above the rim.
- Paper products that are saturated with food, liquid (other than water), or other contaminate should not be included with recycling.
- If paper gets wet, it’s okay - We can still recycle it.