1235 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL •  850.942.2557

Plastics Recycling Expanded for Tallahassee – Leon County


Reprinted from www.talgov.com

Recycling plastics in Tallahassee and Leon County has gotten even simpler. Now all plastic containers less than 3 gallons can be recycled in your Smart Cart (City of Tallahassee customers) or recycling bin (Leon County Recycling customers).

Containers like yogurt cups, butter and dairy tubs, plastic caps/lids and plastic fruit and vegetable containers can be added to your Smart Cart.

Recycling is easy and, when done properly, can help to improve the environment.

What Can Be Recycled


All glass and metal cans, bottles, jars and jugs can be recycled. All plastic containers under 3 gallons can be recycled.

Aluminum cans, glass bottles or jars, milk jugs, soda bottles, water jugs, shampoo bottles, peanut butter jars, detergent bottles and jugs and lotion bottles. Rinse (not required but can help keep bugs and smells away) and place in your Smart Cart.

Only Styrofoam, black plastic containers and microwave trays – these can’t be scanned for recycling and plastic bags (take to your local grocery store) can’t be recycled in your Smart Cart.


All paper and cardboard not intended for use with wet or greasy food can be recycled.

For example:
Items such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, cereal boxes, detergent boxes, paper bags, and cardboard boxes are all recyclable. Exceptions include: pizza boxes (greasy), paper towels (wet), clothes, wire hangers, computers, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are we going to have to pay more for this service? No, there will be no change to the existing recycle collection system or cost. Recycling will continue with the same collection containers and collection schedule.
  2. Can I get money back or a credit on my utility bill for the materials I recycle? No, all revenues received from the sale of recycle materials are used to fund the recycle program.
  3. What do I do with bottle caps and container lids? Before tossing your container into the recycling bin, rinse the container and replace the cap or lid back unto the container. This minimizes the number of lids and caps that fall out of the collection and sorting system.
  4. Can I recycle any plastic that has a recycling sign and number on it? Almost. Tallahassee and Leon County now collect every type of household plastic container that holds less than three gallons. Plastic containers that held automotive fluids, pesticides, herbicides or other hazardous materials should be taken to the Hazardous Waste Center, located at 7550 Apalachee Parkway.
  5. Why can't I put black plastic into my recycling collection? Plastic items are sorted by optical scanners, which use the reflection of light to identify the types of plastics. Black plastic does not reflect light, so cannot be seen and sorted by the scanners and could end up contaminating other materials. Microwave food trays, which are normally black, are also made of a special type of plastic which cannot be easily recycled.
  6. Do I have to remove labels from plastic containers? No, leave the labels on all containers; bottles, jugs, cans and glass bottles and jars.
  7. What if I want to recycle but don't have a recycling barrel or bin? There is a number of remote recycle drop off locations available in the city and the county. Visit the websites below for more information on these locations.
  8. Can I recycle plastic bags? No, not through curbside collection. Plastic bags can be returned to local grocery stores for recycling.
  9. Can I recycle my laundry detergent bottles? Yes, just rinse and empty before placing them into your recycle bin or Smart Cart.
  10. Where can I take other plastic household items that cannot be recycled? Contact local charity organizations to find out if they would be interested in any other plastic items you have.
  11. Will my recycle collection schedule change? No, it will continue to be provided using the same collection containers and collection schedule.



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