Recycle Right El Paso

FAQ

What can and cannot be recycled?

View a detailed list for articles that can and cannot be recycle.

What if a live in an apartment or condominium?

EVERYONE should recycle! All City of El Paso residential households have the opportunity to recycle. If your apartment complex is not recycling, let them know the importance of recycling so that they can provide that service for you and the other tenants. Or you may participate in the program by dropping off recyclable materials at the City’s various Citizen Collection Stations. No water bill needed.

Do I have to separate the recyclable items?

No, all your recyclable items can go in your blue bin. Do not bag your recyclables.

What about plastic bags?

Plastic bags are No longer accepted in the City's curbside recycling program. The City encourages residents to return plastics bags (grocery bags, department bags, produce bags) to a local retailer or place them in the GRAY trash bin.

What about glass?

Glass is not accepted in the Curbside Recycling Program at this time. Please do not place glass containers in the blue bin. Glass bottles and jars may be taken to the Citizen Collection Station located at 1034 Pendale.

Are there any special requirements for newspapers?

No, all parts of the newspaper are recyclable. Please remove the plastic sleeve or rubber band that comes with your paper.

Do I have to rinse out my containers?

You may need to rinse out your containers to remove any food residue.
Note: Motor oil and antifreeze containers are not accepted at all.

My recycling bin is not large enough to hold all of my recyclables. What should I do?

Recycling bins are collected every other week. If you generate more recyclable material than your bin can hold, please utilize one of the Citizen Collection Stations throughout the city.
Note: Flatten all cardboard         

I notice strangers going through my recycling bin, what should I do?

Please call the City of El Paso, Environmental Services Department (915-212-6000). Recyclables deposited in City recycling receptacles are the property of the City. Code Officers are allowed to inspect bins to make sure acceptable items are being placed in the bins. 

When and where should I place my recycle bin?

Place your recycling bin next to your gray trash container (at least 5 feet apart) on your regular trash collection day out by the curb. Placing your recycling bin out on the morning of collection rather than the night before may prevent scavenging.

Who do I call if my recycling bin breaks, cracks, or has broken wheels?

If your recycling bin breaks, cracks, or has damaged wheels: 

Call Environmental Services at (915) 212-6000.

Submit your request online here.

Download the ESD Works for You App and submit from your phone.

If I live outside the City of El Paso, can I still participate?

Anyone may drop off clean recyclable paper, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum/tin (metal) material at the City's Citizen Collection Stations. A current El Paso Water Utilities residential bill and matching identification is not required for this service.

Why can’t pizza boxes be placed in the blue recycling bin?

Most of the time, pizza boxes are filled with grease, oil, cheese, or food residue. If the top portion is clean and free of food and debris, then you can cut the top of the box off and place that in the blue recycling bin. The bottom of the pizza box will need to be thrown in the gray container.

Why can’t I place clothing in the blue recycling bin?

It is important to remember that clothing, shoes, and other textiles can be REUSED, but not recycled. Give your used clothing to a family member or donate it to a local charity. If the clothing is in very bad condition and cannot be re-worn, then place it in the gray container.

Why can’t I recycle styrofoam? It has a recycling emblem on it.

Even though an item may have a recycling symbol on it, it may not be accepted at the City’s local recycling facility.

I was told that I could not recycle diapers, but I see a recycling emblem on the box?

It is important to remember that the cardboard box is recyclable, not the actual diapers. Place all used and unused diapers in the gray trash bin.

Why was my blue recycling bin not picked up on my collection day?

There are several reasons for this. It may be in violation of the following reasons:

Contamination – non-recyclable items or trash were found in the blue bin
Overflowing – the lid must be remained closed at all times. Do not overfill the bin or place extra recyclables on the side or on the top of the container. If you have extra recycle items, you can take them to a Citizen Collection Station at no charge.
Spacing – the blue bin was not spaced out properly. It must be placed three (3) feet away from the gray trash bin and/or any stationary object such as a utility pole or a mailbox. Five (5) feet away from any vehicle. 
Set Out – your blue recycling bin was not placed out in time on the curb. Collections start at 5 a.m. Bins must be placed out for collection no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before your scheduled collection day and must be off the city right of way by 7 p.m. on your collection day

Pick up times are subject to change. Leave your bin out until 7 p.m. before calling (915) 212-6000 to report missed pickup.

You may also report a missed pickup online

What happens if I receive a “notification” tag on my recycling bin?

The reason for the violation is marked on the tag. ESD asks for you to correct this issue before your next collection day.
If you are found to be in violation more than three times in a 12-month period, your blue recycling bin may be picked up. In order to participate in the curbside recycling program again, you will be asked to wait a 6-month probation period or take a Recycling Right class. You may get more information by calling (915) 212-6000.