Recycling Guide

Here in Eugene, we all work together for a sustainable future. Here’s how to do your part so we can do ours to keep Eugene clean and green. Keep your whole household in the know— download and print the recycling guide.


Filling your cart right keeps recyclables out of landfills. That’s a great big win for one mighty green cart. But don’t contaminate those recyclables! If any of the prohibited items make their way into your green cart, we’ll need to send everything in the bin to the landfill and charge you a disposal fee.

Plastic Containers Icon
YES: Certain plastic containers

#1 and #2 Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Jars, such as beverage bottles, shampoo, hand soap, and other personal care and cleaning product bottles, and condiment jars; make sure you rinse them out!

Cardboard Icon
Yes: Cardboard

Smaller (flattened) cardboard items, including clean pizza boxes, can go right in the cart (so break down those boxes!). But if you have a heap of cardboard, here’s what to do: break it down, cut it into pieces less than 3' x 3' (about the length of a guitar), and stack it next to your cart at the curb.

Paper Icon
Yes: Paper

Newspaper, scrap paper, printer paper, junk mail—don’t throw it out, recycle it!

Tin Cans Icon
Yes: Tin cans

Make sure they’re clean as a whistle—wash them out before taking them to the cart.

Tin Foil Icon
Yes: Aluminum foil

Tinfoil is gold for the recycling plant! Just make sure it’s free of any food debris.

Other Plastics Icon
NO: Other plastics

If it’s not a #1 and #2 Plastic Bottle, Jug or Jar, leave it out—we can’t accept other plastics.

Yard Debris  Icon
No: Yard Debris

Save all the yard debris for your grey debris cart!

Soiled Paper Products Icon
No: Food-contaminated paper products

Any paper or takeout container items that have food residue must go into trash, not the recycling.

Frozen Food Boxes Icon
No: Most frozen food boxes

Paper that has a waxy coating—used in most frozen food boxes to protect against moisture—can’t be recycled.

Garbage Icon
No: Garbage

Garbage in the green bin? No way! That includes everything from paper towels to dryer sheets to old clothes and linens.

Electronics Icon
No: Electronics

Don’t toss that trashed TV out with the recyclables. For all your old electronics, call us for disposal options.

Old Clothes Icon
No: Clothing and personal items

While you can’t recycle old backpacks or button-downs, consider donating them to local nonprofits. Scroll down for options!

Miscellaneous Junk Refuse Icon
No: Miscellaneous junk and refuse

Pet litter, doggie droppings, full bottles of liquid, food scraps, lumber, and household items cannot be recycled. Have a question about something not listed here? Reach out and let us help you find the correct bin or disposal method for junk of every kind!

Six Pack Ring Icon
No: Six pack ring holders

These can't be recycled. Snip the rings (turtles will thank you) and put these in the garbage.

Bubble Wrap Icon
No: Bubble wrap and plastic packaging

We can't recycle bubble wrap and packaging—but your local shipping store might take it off your hands.

Plastic Container Icon
No: Plastic storage containers

If it’s not a plastic jug, bottle or jar, leave it out—we can’t accept other plastics. Plastic containers that can't be recycled can go out with the regular trash (as long as they fit in your bin).

Prescription Medicine Bottles Icon
No: Prescription medicine bottles

Empty pill bottles must go in the regular trash, not your recycling cart. And FYI, if you have leftover meds to dispose of, those are hazardous waste (yes, even over-the-counter stuff)! Contact your pharmacy or call Lane County Waste Management at 541-682-4120 for options. And please, don't flush them down the toilet—that's bad news for our local waterways.

Empty Paint Cans Icon
No: Empty metal paint cans

Empty paint cans can go into your normal trash bin. Just make sure any residual paint inside is totally dry before you toss them. Need to get rid of paint-filled cans? Give us a ring and we'll help you get it sorted.

Alkaline Batteries Icon
No: Alkaline batteries

As long as they're not rechargeable, you can dump dead alkaline batteries into the trash, but not the recycling.

Other Batteries Icon
No: Other batteries

All non-alkaline batteries need special handling—including batteries for your laptop or other devices. To recycle button, rechargeable alkaline, ni-Cad, lithium, and silver oxide batteries, contact Lane County Waste Management at 541-682-4120 or check with battery and electronic stores.

Plastic Bags Icon
No: Plastic bags

These can't be recycled, so go ahead and put them in your trash cart.

Shrink Wrap Icon
No: Shrink wrap

Shrink wrap can't be recycled, but you're free and clear to throw it out in the trash.

Rechargeable Batteries Icon
No: Rechargeable batteries

Sorry, rechargeable batteries need special handling, so keep them out of your recycling and your trash bins. To dispose of them safely, contact Lane County Waste Management at 541-682-4120 or check with battery and electronic stores.


Small but mighty, your red bin keeps special items out of the big recycling fray so our drivers can carry them to the recycling plant safely. But be sure you don’t include prohibited items—those are safety hazards that will contaminate the whole bin (and you may be charged a disposal fee).

Glass Jars and Bottles Icon
Yes: Glass jars and bottles

Make sure they’re rinsed and clean!

Motor Oil Icon
Yes: Motor oil, transmission fluid, or hydraulic oil

Put your cast-off car fluids in an unbreakable one-gallon container with a tight screw-on lid. No more than two gallons a week, please.

Broken Glass Icon
No: Broken glass and ceramics

Sweep sharp shards into the trash—they can’t go to the recycling facility. Safety first!

Mirror Icon
No: Mirrors

These contain material other than glass, so if you’re tired of your own reflection, donate your mirror to a thrift store instead of the recycling bin.

Incandescent Light Bulbs Icon
No: Light bulbs

The stuff inside that glass globe is not recyclable! Recycle bulbs safely by contacting Lane County Hazardous Waste Disposal.

Gasoline Icon
No: Antifreeze, solvents, and gasoline

These are hazardous materials we can’t recycle—Lane County Hazardous Waste Disposal can handle them for you.

Cooking Oil Icon
No: Cooking oils and other oils

Other than the three car fluids listed above—motor oil, transmission fluid, or hydraulic oil—all other oils must stay out of the recycling.

The why behind the how

Recycling is a no-brainer for the health of Eugene’s ecosystem. But it pays to be a recycling brainiac! Here are a few facts to help you remember why sorting your recyclables is the smart move (and to give you a leg up at trivia night). 

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours

  • Only around 27% of plastic bottles are recycled

  • Recycling one glass bottle or jar saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours

  • Recycling one ton of cardboard saves over nine cubic yards of landfill space

  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour, and most are not recycled

Want more recycling know-how? Download our detailed dive into the recycling landscape in Eugene. 

Before you recycle, reuse! 

Way back when Samuel Miller started this business, he noticed that folks would put perfectly good stuff out for his trash truck. And as the saying goes, one person’s trash is indeed another’s treasure—that’s why he sorted out anything that could be reused. 

So don’t toss out your old kid’s books, last season’s sweater, or slightly sagging sofa! Many local organizations would be thrilled to take your cast-off stuff. 

Call or click below for details on local drop-off locations, hours, and accepted items for places to donate used items in Eugene. Reusing helps our community and the planet. Good work!  


Many used bookstores accept books. You can also donate some books to the Eugene and Springfield public libraries.

Building materials
Computers and electronics


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