Learn more about recycling in the Tampa Bay area

We’re here to provide information on recycling practices in the Tampa Bay area, to help protect our home.

A green City of Tampa recycling bin. A road with cars is in the background.

Tampa’s recycling containers are green — St. Pete’s are blue.

Photo by TBAYtoday

Throwing recyclables into the wrong container? What a waste.

People around the world are trying to live in increasingly sustainable ways. From reducing carbon emissions to changing eating habits, there’s a range of ways to do your part for our planet. If you’re looking for an easy green habit for 2024, recycling could be a good place to start.

What to do

When it comes to recycling rules, always check your provider’s own specific regulations. For instance, Temple Terrace does not accept glass in recycling bins. Whether it’s the city you live in, or the county, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The first general question is an obvious one: what can I recycle? Glass containers, paper, flattened cardboard, tin products, and aluminum cans/containers can usually be recycled. Remember to rinse off food + drink residue to avoid contaminating other recyclables.

Plastics can be complex + lead to confusion. In general, plastic jugs, bottles, and containers can all be recycled — remember to leave the lid on. Again, check your provider’s rules.

What to avoid

One thing to avoid is a practice known as “wishcycling,” defined as “the act of tossing something in your recycling bin with the mere hopes that it is recyclable.” In other words: if in doubt, just throw it out.

Do not recycle commonly misplaced items like plastic shopping bags + trash bags, as well as plastic kitchenware, pizza boxes, tissues, bubblewrap, and paper towels.

A City of Tampa worker by a recycling bin. There is cardboard inside and the worker is wearing a bright orange top.

Remember to break down that cardboard, folks.

Photo by City of Tampa

Tampa resources

St. Pete resources