New Cart Lids Will Help Keep Arlington's Recycling Stream Clean
By Jennifer Shaver, Garbage and Recycling Division
Posted on October 22, 2019, October 22, 2019

New recycling cart lidsArlington residents love to recycle, and we are excited to work with our regional partner cities and the North Central Texas Council of Governments to simplify recycling.

As part of the regional Know What to Throw campaign, we will be working with our residential waste and recycling hauler, Republic Services, to update recycling cart lids with a unified recycling message. This unified message will aid in lessening confusion about what can and cannot be placed in your curbside recycling cart. Our goal is to decrease contamination of quality recyclables by keeping non-recyclables out of recycling carts. New cart lid images will also include English and Spanish messaging. New carts with the updated imaging will be rolled out as residents move into homes where new carts are needed and as old and damaged carts are replaced.

The “Accepted Materials” side of these new recycling carts will feature five main categories: Paper/Cardboard, Aluminum/Metal, Cartons, Plastic and Glass with short descriptors under each category of acceptable materials. The “Not Accepted” side will highlight some of the top recycling cart contaminants such as Styrofoam, batteries, food waste and more. Residents will also notice plastic grocery bags have been moved to the unaccepted materials side as these bags tangle sorting equipment at our recycling center and have little to no resale value. Residents are encouraged to opt for reusable grocery bags instead or to take their plastic grocery bags back to their local grocer. Paper grocery bags will still be accepted in the curbside program. Residents are also asked to keep pizza boxes out of the recycling stream as these are often contaminated with grease, seasoning packets and food residue.

Some of the main contaminators of our curbside program include:

  • Styrofoam – even if it has a recycle symbol, please leave it out of your cart
  • Batteries – batteries can spark fires so please take these to the Environmental Collection Center for safe disposal
  • Needles and Syringes
  • Organics such as food and yard waste
  • Tanglers such as clothing, water hoses and coat hangers

Remember, “When in doubt, leave it out!” and help keep our curbside program clean of contaminants! Thank you for being such avid recyclers and for helping keep Arlington sustainable! For more information please visit our website at or email us at

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