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Recycling 101

Residents of single-family homes or small apartment complexes (up to 10 units) can recycle by using a City-provided, purple recycling cart. Recyclables are collected each week on the same day as your refuse. To prevent scavenging, place carts out in the morning by 7 a.m. Use our online form to report any scavenging activities. Bring carts in within 12 hours after they have been emptied.

Recycling/Refuse Pick-up Day and Cart Replacement

  • Go to MAPIT, then enter your address (blue box on the right). You’ll find your collection day under “Location Information” along with a number of City Services: police, fire, City Government and more.
  • If you have a damaged purple cart that needs replacing, simply fill out our online form for assistance.
  • If you have a different issue you need to report, use our online general report form for assistance.

Recycling Do’s and Don’ts

DO Recycle:

Place these items in your purple recycling cart:

  • Aluminum, steel and tin cans
    Includes cans for soda, soup, beer, beans, fruit or vegetables or any other can that is made of aluminum, steel or tin. Please rinse and place lid inside before recycling.
  • Beverage containers
    Includes bottles for water, milk, soft drinks, wine, beer or any other bottle made of plastic or glass. Please rinse and place caps back on containers before recycling.
  • Cardboard
    Includes boxes used for moving and shipping or any other box made of cardboard or boxboard. Please flatten boxes before recycling.
  • Empty paint and aerosol cans
    Be sure these cans are empty and dry.
  • Glass jars
    Includes jars for jams or jelly, spaghetti sauce, olive oil, pickles, preserves or any other jar made of glass. Please rinse and place lids back on containers before recycling.
  • Cartons
    Includes paper cartons for milk, soy milk, creamer, juice, wine, soup, broth, egg substitutes and juice boxes. Please remove straws. Please rinse and place and caps back on containers before recycling.
  • Mixed paper
    Includes paper used for junk mail, catalogs, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, milk cartons, telephone books, magazines, newspapers or paper used for computer printing.
  • Plastic containers (#1 through #7)
    Includes containers for peanut butter, mayonnaise, yogurt, margarine, shampoo or any other plastic container marked with the #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the bottom. Please rinse and place lids and caps back on containers before recycling.

Find your nearest drop off location for plastic bags/film packaging here.

DO NOT Recycle:

Keep these items out of your recycling cart:

  • Cans or bottles with poisonous contents
    Includes containers for pesticides and insecticides.
  • Disposable diapers 
  • Fast food containers
    Includes containers soiled with grease.
  • Glass in forms other than bottles or jars
    Includes glass used for windows, Pyrex, light bulbs, mirrors, plates or cups.
  • Paper in thin form or soiled
    Includes paper used for pets, tissues, paper towels or napkins.
  • Polystyrene Peanuts
    Styrofoam® packaging peanuts are not recyclable, but they are reusable. Many mailing and packaging stores accept donations.
  • Yard waste
    The City of Long Beach provides free composting workshops the third Saturday of every month.

For additional questions, email: LBrecycles@longbeach.gov