City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 092420
City of Long Beach Announces Updates to Recycling Materials Collection
Diko Melkonian
Deputy Director/Bureau Manager
Public Works Department
(562) 570-2856

The City of Long Beach has announced changes to the materials eligible for collection as part of the City’s residential and commercial recycling program. Some plastics and cartons are no longer accepted as recyclable materials. These updates are necessary to reduce contamination of recyclable materials in a changing recycling market.

Due to global changes in the recycling processing industry, namely in response to China’s implementation of its National Sword Policy, the demand for some previously recyclable materials has dramatically decreased. The Public Works Department, along with its recycling partners, Potential Industries and Waste Management, conducted a thorough evaluation to determine the most efficient and sustainable way to adapt to these market changes. That evaluation resulted in the modification of collected recyclable materials to reduce contaminants, facilitate recovery of all eligible recyclable goods and reduce processing costs.

Continued collection of materials no longer eligible for recycling within the global marketplace may lead to contamination of recyclables still in demand. These changes will help Long Beach residents ensure that materials put in recycling containers can actually be recycled and reused. 

Recyclable materials must be empty, clean and dry. Materials accepted for recycling by the City include:

  • Paper, including computer and ledger paper, mail, flyers, telephone books, notecards, newspaper, magazines, file folders, paper bags, catalogs and all envelopes, including those with windows.
  • Cardboard, including cardboard boxes and chipboard, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, dry food boxes, shoe boxes and detergent boxes.
  • Metals, including aluminum, tin, meat cans, soda cans, juice cans, soup cans, vegetable cans, pet food cans, pie tins, clean aluminum foil, and empty paint and aerosol cans.
  • Glass bottles and jars, including soda bottles, wine bottles, beer bottles, sauce jars and pickle jars.
  • Plastics: PETE 1 – Polyethylene Terephthlate, including plastic soda bottles, plastic juice bottles and plastic water bottles.
  • Plastics: HDPE 2 – High Density Polyethylene, including milk jugs, laundry detergent and planters.
  • Plastics: PP 5 – Polyproplylene, including yogurt tubs, plastic bottle tops and margarine tubs.

The City will no longer accept:

  • Plastic: PVC 3 – Polyvinyl Chloride, including soft and flexible packaging such as plastic food wrapping, children’s toys and teething rings.
  • Plastic: LDPE 4 – Low-Density Polyethylene, including plastic bags, produce bags, shrink wrap, dry cleaner garment bags, squeezable bottles and plastic bags that package bread.
  • Plastic: PS 6 – Polystyrene, including foam or rigid plastic #6 cups, plates, take-out ‘clamshell’ food containers, egg cartons, cutlery/utensils, form packaging and packaging peanuts.
  • Plastic: Other 7 – Catch-all for polycarbonate (PC), and other plastics including compostable plastics and any other type of plastic material that is not a 1-6 type of plastic.
  • Cartons, including all refrigerated, shelf-stable, aseptic packaging boxes and cartons such as juice boxes and cartons, dairy and non-dairy boxes and cartons, wine boxes and egg substitute cartons.

Household hazardous waste materials, such as paint, batteries and motor oil, will still not be accepted in recycling carts and should be disposed of for free at EDCO Recycling and Transfer Environmental Center, located at 2755 California Avenue in Signal Hill, on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Long Beach refuse customers can schedule bulky or large item collection by visiting:

Additional information regarding these recycling program changes will be provided to all City of Long Beach refuse and recycling collection customers. Information will be available at and distributed through direct mailers, virtual workshops, via social media and in EcoGuide electronic newsletters.

Contact: Diko Melkonian, Deputy Director/Bureau Manager, Public Works Department, (562) 570-2856,