Rules for Recycling in Phoenix

Recycling has become an increasingly crucial aspect of modern life, with more and more people recognizing the need to reduce waste, protect the environment and conserve resources. Phoenix, Arizona, is no exception, with many recycling programs and services in place to help residents reduce their environmental impact. However, with these programs comes the rules for recycling in Phoenix, AZ. Following these guidelines is essential to make the most of these programs and ensure that your recycling efforts are practical. In this article, we will outline the rules for recycling in Phoenix, Arizona, and provide some tips for making the process as easy and efficient as possible.

What Can I Recycle in Phoenix, Arizona

Understanding what you can recycle in Phoenix is your first step in the recycling journey. The city has a comprehensive list of acceptable materials, which include paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and containers (labeled 1-7), aluminum and steel cans, glass bottles and jars, and certain types of cartons (such as those used for milk and juice). 

The city of Phoenix, Arizona, also accepts organic material for composting. 


The City of Phoenix accepts all kinds of plastics, including soft plastic bags. However, not all plastics are recyclable, so checking the labels on your containers is critical. Typically, plastics range from one to seven, indicating the plastic material type. You can recycle plastic items marked one or two in the regular recycling bin. Plastic products labeled three can’t go in the standard recycling bin because it contains polyvinyl chloride.

The City of Phoenix has a unique soft plastics recycling program to divert plastic bags from landfills. Soft plastics are thin, i.e., plastic bags, wrappings, and flexible packaging. Some of the acceptable soft plastics include; 

  • Grocery & Retail bags
  • Air pillows
  • Case wrap
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Bread bags
  • Produce bags

Understand How to Prepare Recyclable Material.

Once you clearly understand what you can recycle in Phoenix, preparing items for recycling is vital. Go a step further to ensure recyclable materials successfully go through recycling. These steps include rinsing food containers, removing caps or lids, and flattening cardboard boxes to save space. Don’t place contaminated recycling materials, such as greasy pizza boxes or food-stained paper, in the regular trash.

Keep Recyclables Loose in The Bin

Another important rule for recycling in Phoenix is to keep your items loose. And this means you should always place waste directly into the recycling bin rather than in plastic bags or other containers. Bagging your garbage can render a whole batch useless. Plastic bags and other materials can get caught in recycling equipment, causing damage and slowing the recycling process. 

Know What You Can’t Recycle

While technology has made it possible to recycle most municipal solid waste, there are some items you can’t recycle in the curbside bin. Understanding what can’t go in the regular recycling bin is crucial to avoid contaminating clean batches.  

Don’t place electronics, batteries, and hazardous materials in your recycling bin. Instead, take them to a recycling center or special collection event. Phoenix has several recycling centers and programs to help residents dispose of these items safely and responsibly.

Organic Recycling in Arizona

In addition to curbside recycling, Phoenix offers many other recycling programs and services. For example, the city’s green organics program allows residents to compost yard waste and food scraps. This program is available to all single-family homes in Phoenix and is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

If you’re landscaping, this is an excellent program to consider. Some acceptable green waste includes branches, Lawn clippings, tree fruit, garden debris, untreated wood, cacti, large animal manure, creosote, oleander, and pyracantha.

Hazardous Waste Disposal in Arizona

Another recycling program the city offers is the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. This program allows residents to safely dispose of hazardous materials such as paint, pesticides, and automotive fluids. The program is available by appointment only and is free for Phoenix residents.

Acceptable hazardous waste includes chemicals, paints, automotive products, fertilizers, batteries, and electronics.

Stay in The Know 

Staying informed and up-to-date on any changes in the rules for recycling in Phoenix is crucial to make the most of these recycling programs and services. The city of Phoenix provides several resources for residents, including a recycling hotline and a recycling app that you can download for free. These resources can help you stay informed about what can and cannot be recycled and provide information about special collection events and other recycling programs.

Finally, it is essential to remember that recycling is just one part of reducing waste and protecting the environment. In addition to recycling, you can take several other steps to reduce your environmental impact, such as reducing your energy consumption, conserving water, and using environmentally-friendly products.

Arizona Roll Off Services is one of Phoenix’s recycling champions. We dedicate a whole division to managing and recycling as much garbage as possible, and we recycle cardboard, paper, tin, water bottles, and metals.