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Zero Waste
Zero Waste

Recycle - Residents

The Department of Public Works (DPW) collects recycling once-a-week from single-family homes and apartment buildings with three or fewer living units. To make it easy, DPW offers “mixed” recycling with all recyclable items to be placed loosely in one container.

Apartment buildings with four or more units, mixed-use residential/commercial buildings and commercial properties are required to provide their own recycling collection services. Click here to learn more about recycling requirements for commercial properties in the District.

Plastic bags, wraps, and film of any color, size or shape are no longer accepted in DC's single stream recycling. Learn More.

What Can I Recycle at Home?



  • Cups & Containers
  • Flattened Cardboard
  • Milk, Juice, & Soup Cartons
  • Newspaper / Magazines
  • Books / Phone Books
  • Junk Mail & Office Paper
    (all items clean & empty)
    *No Tissues
Paper and paperboard items


  • Cups & Containers
  • Bottles & Lids
  • Bulky Items
    (all items clean & empty)
    *No Plastic Bags
    *No Foam Polystyrene
    *No Straws or Utensils
Plastic Items


  • Steel & Aluminum
  • Bottles/Cans/Containers
    (all items clean & empty)
    *No Paint Cans
Metal Items to Recycle


  • Bottles & Jars
    (all items clean & empty)
    *No Ceramics


For a comprehensive list of what can be recycled in the District, please refer to this list.

How To Prepare Recyclables

  • Recyclables should be clean & empty.
  • Do not bag recyclables. Leave items loose in bin.
  • Empty & flatten cardboard boxes.
  • Keep out: Plastic bags, clothing, tanglers (cables & cords), electronics & batteries.

Do Not Bag Recyclables

What Doesn't Belong in my Recycling Bin?

For the list of materials that should not go in the recycling bin, but can be put in the trash bin, please click here.

Certain materials should not go in the recycling OR trash bin. To learn how to dispose of special waste properly, please click here.