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RecyclingCity Trash & Recycling

Recycling Services

In Santa Barbara, the blue bin is for recycling.

  • NEW: We accept cartons (like milk and orange juice) in your residential blue cart. Read more here.
  • All recyclables can be mixed together in the container.
  • Please flatten cardboard boxes.
  • Empty your recylables of their contents.
  • Rinsing containers is recommended because it keeps your recycling bin clean and makes the containers easier to recycle. A simple rinse will do.
  • It is not necessary to remove labels, rings, staples, paperclips or other items.

Recycling Poster (PDF) (large JPEG)

What Happens to My Recycling?

Join Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton in this video field trip all about the life cycle of recycling. Six minutes that explain what happens to our blue bin materials, including footage filmed at EJ Harrison in Ventura, where we send our cart & can recyclables.

Acceptable

  • All Metal
    (No liquids or food)
    • Aluminum cans
    • Aluminum foil and trays
    • Caps and lids from bottles, jars and steel (tin) cans
    • Paint cans (must be empty or dry)
    • Spray cans (must be empty)
    • Steel (tin) cans, scrap metal, metal parts
  • All Plastic
    No Styrofoam or plastic labeled "compostable" or "biodegradable"
    • Bottles
    • Bottle caps
    • Buckets (metal handle ok)
    • Coffee cup lids
    • Containers and clamshells (rinsed out)
    • Laundry detergent bottles
    • Plastic bags
    • Plastic Cups and plates (plastic only, no styrofoam)
    • Plastic Flower pots and trays
    • Plastic packaging
    • Plastic Toys without cords or batteries
    • Saran Wrap - Plastic Film
    • Tubs and lids (ie: yogurt containers and Tupperware)
    • Wine corks - plastic but no true cork
  • All Paper
    (Clean, dry and unsoiled)
    • Bags
    • Cardboard (non-waxed)
    • Cartons (dairy, juice, etc.)
    • Cereal boxes and Paperboard(remove plastic liner)
    • Computer and office paper
    • Clean coffee cups and lids
    • Egg cartons
    • Envelopes (windows okay)
    • Junk mail and magazines
    • Newspapers
    • Packing or Kraft paper
    • Phonebooks
    • Shredded paper, but not crosscut
    • Wrapping paper (non-metallic)
    • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner
    • Waxy paper milk or juice cartons
  • All Glass Containers
    (No liquids or food)
    • Glass bottles and jars only (metal caps and lids too)
  • Non-Treated Wood / Pallets
    • Wood pallets (dumpsters only)

 Unacceptable

  • Batteries
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing linens and rags
  • Electronics
  • CD's, DVD's, CDROM & Cases (remove paper insert )
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Food
  • Glass mirrors and windows
  • Large items (furniture, appliances, etc)
  • Light bulbs: Incandescent, Fluorescents and HIDs
    Incandescent light bulbs can go in the brown bin to the landfill. Florescents and HID bulbs contain mercury and must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Plastic labeled "Compostable" or "Biodegradable"
    If the plastic says 'compostable' on it and you are a participant of the foodscraps program please put this material in the yellow bin. 'Biodegradable' is not a certified standard for any method of disposal. Please reuse these materials or put them in the landfill.
  • Soiled paper (paper cups, plates, napkins, tissues, towels, take-out boxes and greasy pizza boxes)
    If you are part of the foodscraps program please put these materials in the yellow bin.
  • Styrofoam
    We are currently unable to recycle styrofoam at this time. You might see a recycling symbol on it, but it is not marketable.
  • "Tetrapak" lined aseptic cartons - these are shelf-stable products like soy milk, broth, and the like.
  • Waxed cardboard and paper
    If you are part of the foodscraps program please put these materials in the yellow bin.

CRV Redemption

CRV is a State program that places a 5 or 10 cent redemption value on bottles and cans. Their website is http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/bevcontainer/

There are two official CRV redemption centers in the city of Santa Barbara:

MarBorg Industries' Recycling / ABOP Center— 725 Cacique Street

Santa Barbara Iron and Metal Recyclers— 709 East Gutierrez Street

For large quantities, these centers pay by weight, but a consumer has the right to be paid based on count instead of weight for up to 50 empty beverage containers of each material type.  This means you can bring up to 50 aluminum, 50 glass, 50 plastic, and 50 bi-metal California Redemption Value (CRV) containers in a single visit and request to be paid by count.

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014