Curbside Recycling FAQ's


Q. How do I get a recycling bin/cart or an additional green bin/cart?
A. Residents who live in a curbside recycling area may request a bin/cart by calling 3-1-1, or by submitting a service request online here. 3-1-1 will provide you with a Service Request number for your records.

Q. My neighborhood does not have curbside recycling, how do I get curbside recycling?
A. Neighborhoods that would like to be considered for future recycling expansion are placed on a waiting list. 

To be considered for future recycling expansion, your neighborhood must be:

  • Within the City of Houston city limits.
  • Not currently participating in a sponsorship program (homeowners association receives a rebate from the city for garbage service).
  • Not be located on a private street; and/or in a gated community.

If you would like your neighborhood to be considered to receive recycling program services, we request that you provide the following information (in writing) to have your neighborhood added to the waiting list.

  • Name of the neighborhood, subdivision and the garbage collection day.
  • Name, address and phone number of a contact person.
  • The subdivision must consist of at least 100 homes or be next to, or adjacent to an existing curbside recycling area with the same garbage service day.
  • Map of the desired area clearly showing all boundaries.

Your letter should be mailed to:

  Solid Waste Management Department
Attn: Curbside Recycling Program
611 Walker, 12th floor
Houston, Texas 77002

When recycling program resources become available in new service areas, residents will be notified.

Q. What items are accepted in the Curbside Recycling Program?
The Curbside Recycling Program accepts newspaper, magazines, color ad inserts, office paper, mail, telephone books, tin, aluminum, empty aerosol cans, plastic bottles and jugs (marked with a #1 - #5, and #7, recycling symbol). 


You may place recyclable materials together in the same bin/cart. 

Overflow materials can be put in a separate paper grocery bag and placed on top or on the side of your green bin (18-gallon bin only).

Corrugated cardboard must be broken down into 3 x 3 foot squares. 

Used motor oil is also accepted when placed in it's original container or an empty plastic 1-gallon milk or water bottle. Oil must be placed to the side of the cart/bin for collection.

Q. My neighborhood does not have curbside recycling, where can I take my recyclables?
. Neighborhood Depositories/Recycling Centers will accept the same recyclables accepted in the curbside recycling program, including glass. 

The Westpark Consumer Recycling Center will accept the same items as the Curbside Recycling Program with the addition of glass bottles and jars, anti-freeze, latex paint, and car batteries.

You may also take your recyclables to the Clear Lake/Ellington Airport and Kingwood Park & Ride recycling drop-off locations.

Q. Are there any SWMD recycling locations that accept styrofoam?
The Westpark Recycling Center and ESC South accept Styrofoam blocks (plastic #6).

Q. I have lots of plastic bags, how can I recycle them?
You may recycle your plastic grocery bags at the Westpark Recycling Center, Environmental Service Centers or a local grocery store where plastic bags are accepted.