Recycling FAQ – Why Is The Cart Blue?
-by Jennifer Fitz
Recycling - Where can I recycle items not listed on my blue cart?
- Plastic bags can be recycled at your local grocery store.
- Items such as chemicals, batteries and other hazardous materials should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste collection facility at 1249 Essex Avenue.
- The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) provides a list of locations where you can recycle your other items here.
The items not accepted by RecyColumbus include:
- Trash or yard waste. The blue cart is for recyclables only.
- Plastic bags.
- Hazardous materials, such as oil, pesticides, paints, cleaners or batteries.
- Electronics or light bulbs.
- Window glass, mirrors, dinnerware, ceramics or pots and pans.
- Buckets, yogurt or butter tubs.
- Foil juice pouches.
Recycling – Why Is The Cart Blue?
- The blue cart indicates that it is a RecyColumbus cart, which helps the city on collection day.
- Blue is the color used most often in the nation to depict recycling.
- The second-most popular color used in recycling is green. Since the trash bins are green, blue is used to decipher between the two carts.
Recycling – When Does The Cart Go To The Curb?
- Recycling must go out by 6 a.m. the morning of your collection day. Find your collection day here or print out a schedule to help keep track of collection days here.
- After collection, your cart must be moved and stored within 24 hours.
- Your cart must be within one foot of the curb or alley and three feet from trash or other recycling carts.
Recycling – Why Is There A Single Cart Size?
- The new recycling carts hold up to 64-gallons, which is enough space for two weeks’ worth of recycling.
- Households generally recycle more with the 64-gallon cart than the smaller 32-gallon cart due to the extra available space.
- The city uses this uniform size to for their efficient automated collection process.
- Smaller or larger carts are not available.
- However, additional carts are available for purchase. Call 645-3111 or complete an online order form here.
Recycling – How Can I Help Educate My Neighbor?
- Recycling is collected every other week (opposite of your yard waste collection); carts must be on the curb by 6 a.m. and removed within 24 hours of collection.
- One can find the list of acceptable items to recycle here.
- Recycling carts are not be overfilled.
- If your neighbor does not comply with the city recycling regulations, you can contact 645-3111 to report the violation.
- There is an exemption service available for elderly and disabled persons. Call 645-311 to request for recycling pick-up from your house if you are unable to do so.
Recycling – What Belongs In The Bin?
Here’s what goes in the blue cart:
- Aluminum and steel cans – and lids.
- Flattened cardboard and pizza boxes (free of food and grease).
- Plastic bottles/jugs.
- Newspaper, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, computer paper, cereal and other dry food boxes and phone books.
- Glass bottles and jars.
- Cartons and juice boxes.
Here’s what doesn’t:
- No trash or yard waste. The blue cart is for recyclables only.
- No plastic bags.
- No hazardous materials, such as oil, pesticides, paints, cleaners or batteries.
- No syringes/needles.
- No Styrofoam.
- No electronics or light bulbs.
- No window glass, mirrors, dinnerware, ceramics or pots and pans.
- No food.
- No buckets, yogurt or butter tubs.
- No foil juice pouches.
- No sorting required. Put all recyclables in the blue cart.
- Lids, caps and labels can be kept on recyclable containers.
- Do not place dirty recyclables, like un-rinsed jars, in the cart.
- Reference the graphic on the lid of your blue cart if you are unsure whether or not an item is accepted.
The Village has had curbside recycling for three months now, and some neighbors have registered concerns about all of the blue bins that stay at curbside even after Tuesday collection is over. We asked Neighborhood Liaison for Area V (Livingston Avenue to the City Limits and Alum Creek to the Scioto River) Jo Anne St. Clair for some advice.
A few tips:
If trash cans/recycling cans are left out 24 hours after the set out times, individuals can contact 311 (Just call 311 or visit 311.columbus.gov). A code officer who only enforces the Refuse Code will notify the person that they are in violation of the Refuse Code – generally that takes care of the issue, but there are increasing steps that will be taken if the owner/renter fails to comply in a timely manner.
There is an exemption service for elderly or disabled persons who need help with the collection of their trash and/or refuse. The individual can request, through the 311 service, that their trash and/or recycling are picked up at the house because of health, age, or physical limitations.
If you would like to make room in your yard or garage for the recycling bin, but can’t make both it and your 64-gallon trash can fit, you can ask the city for a smaller TRASH bin. Just call 311 or visit 311.columbus.gov to request the smaller trash container.
Have other questions or concerns about city services? You can contact our Neighborhood Liaison for Area V (Livingston Avenue to the City Limits and Alum Creek to the Scioto River) Jo Anne St. Clair at 614-645-5220 or email@example.com.
Is there a topic you would like to know more about? Please let us know so we can help you help German Village!
And don’t forget our series of Long-Range Planning Committee-created how-guides to live your best life in the Village. See the whole series here.