Click to Home
Go To Search
Urban Forest
San Jose Home
What Goes Where
Check out these recycling tips

Order a free recycling guide

Recycling Garbage
Yard trimmings Items that don't go in recycling or garbage carts


When recycling plastic, empty and scrape all containers. All plastic items labeled 1 through 7 inside the chasing arrows.*
  • Compact disc cases
  • Detergent bottles
  • Flower pots
  • Hard plastic toys
  • Juice and milk jugs
  • Large reusable water bottles
  • Medicine bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe
  • Soda, water, mouthwash, and mustard containers
  • Spray bottles
  • Squeezable bottles (e.g. honey)
  • Yogurt and margarine tubs
plastic shampoo bottleplastic water bottle
*Return clean plastic bags to grocery store for recycling. 

Put Polystyrene foam (Styrofoam™) in the garbage cart.

Paper & Cardboard
Flatten boxes and secure loose material (e.g. shredded paper) in clear plastic bags. Cut large boxes small enough to fit loosely inside the recycling cart or bin.
  • Cardboard
  • Catalogs
  • Cereal and cracker boxes (remove liners)
  • Egg cartons
  • Envelopes (plastic windows OK)
  • Gift wrap (no metallic or foil)
  • Magazines
  • Mail
  • Newspaper
  • Newspaper inserts and advertisements (glossy OK)
  • Office paper (e.g. construction paper, printer paper)
  • Paper bags
  • Shoe boxes
  • Shopping bags (remove handles)
  • Telephone books
mixed paper and cardboard

Empty and scrape all containers.
  • Tin, aluminum, and steel cans and lids
  • Food and beverage cans (e.g., soda, tuna, soup, pet food)
  • Empty aerosol cans
aluminum can

Empty, scrape, and flatten all containers.
  • Beverage cartons and boxes (e.g. juice, milk, cream)

Empty and scrape all containers.
  • Glass bottles and jars (all colors)
glass bottle

Scrap Metals
Metals should be clean and dry.
  • Clean aluminum foil and trays
  • Small metal appliances (e.g. toaster, waffle iron, blender)
  • Keys
  • Metal lids and caps from glass bottles
  • Metal pots and pans
  • Empty paint cans (let paint dry out, then remove and place in garbage cart)
clean aluminum tray

Tie clean textiles inside a clear plastic bag.
  • Clean cotton, linen, polyester, rayon, and wool fabrics
  • Blankets and sheets
  • Clothes
clear bag of textiles

Garbage Cart

  • Vegetables*
  • Fruits*
  • Pumpkins*
  • Cooking oil, grease and fats 
*These items can also be composted. Discounted compost bins are available for purchase.

Soiled papers & containers
  • Carbon paper
  • Padded or Tyvek® envelopes
  • Paper soiled with anything such as motor oil, paint, or food/grease
  • Paper take-out containers
  • Photographs and photo paper
  • Pizza boxes
  • Thermal fax paper
takeout containers and wrappersgreasy pizza box

Polystyrene Foam
  • Cups
  • Plates
  • Egg cartons
  • Packing "peanuts" (tie securely in plastic bag)
  • Take-out containers

Household items
  • Bubble wrap
  • Carpet and rugs (cut into small pieces)
  • Ceramics
  • Compact discs
  • Cookware
  • Credit cards
  • Disposable diapers
  • Down-filled items
  • Drinking glasses
  • Electric blankets
  • Foil pouches
  • Hangers (wood, metal, plastic)
  • Hardware (bolts, nails, nuts, screws)
  • Hoses
  • Incandescent light bulbs
  • Leather
  • Mirrors
  • Nylon
  • Pillows
  • Pools
  • Rubber
  • Shoes
  • Soiled plastic bags
  • Straws
  • Stuffed animals
  • Tarps
  • Toys
  • Utensils
  • Vinyl
  • Windows
  • Wood
disposable diaperceramicsshoesstudded animalhosewood

Yard Trimmings
Yard trimmings collection includes:
  • Branches (5 feet or shorter in length and 6 inches or less in diameter)
  • Flowers
  • Grass clippings (or grasscycle them instead)
  • Leaves
  • Palm fronds
  • Small prunings
  • Sod (remove as much soil as possible)
  • Holiday trees

Items that don't go in recycling or garbage carts
syringecompact florescent bulb (CFL)
household hazardous waste