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Residential Recycling Collection Information

Baltimore County’s single stream recycling program allows residents to set out more materials for recycling collection and also offers new ways to set out these recyclables.

What Can Be Collected

Caps, labels, lids, and rings are OK for collection!



Metal that will and won't be collected in single stream recycling.

Metal accepted in single stream recycling.

Aluminum and steel food and beverage cans, EMPTY aerosol cans, aluminum foil and pie pans

Metal that won't be accepted in single stream recycling.

Propane cylinders, pots and pans, scrap metal

Glass that will and will not be accepted in single stream recycling.

Glass accepted in single stream recycling.

All colors of glass bottles and jars

Glass that won't be accepted in single stream recycling.

Dishes, ceramics, drinking glasses, window glass, light bulbs, mirrors, crystal, cookware (such as Corningware™, Pyrex®)

Plastic that will and will not be accepted in single stream recycling.

Plastic accepted in single stream recycling.

Narrow-neck plastic bottles and jugs (with a Plastic resin number 1 to Plastic resin number 7. recycling symbol, or without a number or recycling symbol), wide-mouth plastic containers (such as butter, cottage cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream, and whipped topping containers), rigid plastics (such as buckets [with or without metal handles], drinking cups, flower pots, coolers, drums, 5-gallon water bottles, lawn furniture, pallets, plastic window well covers, clothes hangers, and toys)

Note: laundry baskets, garbage containers and recycling containers will be collected for recycling IF a note requesting this is prominently attached.

Plastic that won't be accepted in single stream recycling.

Plastic bags, Styrofoam™ (including but not limited to bowls, cups, plates, to-go containers, and foam packing material of any kind), clam shells (such as packaging for toys and batteries, as well as salad bar plastic containers), CD jewel cases, motor oil containers, VHS tapes, plastic electronics, candy wrappers, food wrappers, plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons), beverage can plastic ring holders, bubble wrap

Paper and Cardboard that will and will not be accepted in single stream recycling.

Paper and cardboard accepted in single stream recycling.

Newspapers (including all inserts), magazines, phone books, catalogs, books (including paperbacks, textbooks and hardbacks), writing and computer paper, mail, paperboard (e.g., cereal, frozen food, and shoe boxes), cardboard (flattened), milk and juice cartons/boxes, cardstock, copy paper (including NCR - No Carbon Required - copy paper), envelopes (plastic windows ok), fax paper, ice cream containers, letterhead paper, non-metallic wrapping paper, paper bags

Paper and cardboard that won't be accepted in single stream recycling.

Paper or cardboard covered by wax, plastic, or food*; Kleenex®; foil gift wrap, photo paper

*Note: milk and juice cartons/boxes are NOT covered with wax or plastic; different manufacturers have different techniques for achieving the polished look on the exterior.


How To Set Out Materials

Examples of approved recycling containers for single stream.
  • Recyclables may be mixed together and set out for recycling collection in a variety of containers, including:
    • sturdy outdoor recycling containers up to 34 gallon capacity;
    • sturdy outdoor trash containers up to 34 gallon capacity, for recycling use only (marked with a large “X” or “RECYCLE”); or
    • small cardboard boxes (boxes collected with contents).
  • Paper and cardboard may also be tied in bundles with non-plastic string or placed in paper bags for collection.
  • Containers are limited to a maximum filled weight of 40 pounds. Boxes, bags, and bundles are limited to a maximum filled weight of 30 pounds.
  • If the container has a lid, the lid must not be fastened to the container with rope, wire, chains, etc.
  • Containers with hinged lids and/or wheels are not recommended (due to difficulty in handling by collectors, and the lids/wheels being prone to breakage).

Baltimore County has made stickers available for residents that may be affixed to containers as another way to designate that the containers are being used exclusively for recycling. These stickers are not in any way required to participate in the single stream recycling program. Stickers for recycling containers are available free of charge at the following locations: Baltimore County senior centers, Baltimore County public libraries, and the County’s three trash and recycling drop-off centers in White Marsh, Cockeysville, and Halethorpe.  We encourage residents to call ahead to a library or senior center before visiting to ensure that they have a supply of container stickers. 

Recyclables will no longer be collected in plastic bags.Recyclables must not be set out for recycling collection in plastic bags of any type or color (plastic bags will not be collected in order to prevent processing complications at the “single stream” recycling sorting facility).

Though plastic bags will not be permitted in Baltimore County's single stream program, many local grocery stores will accept clean, dry plastic bags for recycling. You can help the environment even more by using reusable bags when shopping. This will eliminate or reduce your need for plastic bags.

Collection Connection

Get connected to Baltimore County's recycling program. View and/or download your collection schedule, submit a request or complaint regarding your trash and recycling collection, view our collection program guide, and more.

Revised May 11, 2012

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