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 Red Bin, Blue Bin ... Recycling Guidelines


All residents in unincorporated Sarasota County, including single family homes and multi-family residential complexes (apartment, condo, mobile home parks, etc.), are required by ordinance to recycle.

Call Waste Management at 941-493-4100 for the following:

  • Recycle bin drop-off: for new, additional or replacement bins (residents may also pick-up bins at the county's Chemical Collection Centers).
  • New resident move-ins: a one-time courtesy pick-up of your cardboard boxes. 
  • Missed pick-ups: if your recycling is not picked up on your scheduled day.  

As of October 1, 2013 the following items are accepted for recycling (download bilingual list here/descargar lista bilingüe aquí):

Red Bin
For recycling paper materials:

  • corrugated cardboard (flattened and cut down to 2 feet by 3 feet or less)
  • pizza boxes (food and liner removed, flattened)
  • writing and office paper
  • junk mail and sale flyers
  • envelopes (including window envelopes)
  • newspapers including inserts
  • magazines and catalogs 
  • paperboard (cereal boxes with liner removed, soda boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel tubes, etc.)
  • telephone books
  • paperback books (no hardback books)
  • brown paper bags
  • shredded paper (in paper or opaque/clear plastic bag)  
Place food-contaminated material in the garbage.
Blue Bin
For recycling containers and materials made of metal, glass and plastic: 
  • aluminum cans/foil trays
  • steel/tin cans and lids
  • aerosol cans (empty)
  • glass bottles and jars (all colors) 
  • jar lids
  • drink boxes (remove the straws)
  • milk and juice boxes
  • all plastics with recyclesymbol6.jpg symbol number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 and fit in the recycling bin (i.e., no over-sized plastic toys, lawn furniture, etc.).
  • NO #6 (Styrofoam®/polystyrene) materials or plastic film such as grocery or other plastic bags, dry cleaner bags, plastic wrap or shrink wrap.
Lightly rinse all containers to remove food residue.
Do not place these items in recycling bins. Items should be placed in your garbage.
  • over-sized items that do not fit completely in the bin
  • ceramic items   
  • gift wrap and tissue paper
  • clothes hangers
  • pots and pans 
  • hard covered books
  • mirrors  
  • empty pool and other chemical containers
  • non-rechargeable alkaline batteries (D, AA, AAA, etc.)
  • packing materials  
  • plastic bags except when used for shredded paper
  • plastic film such as dry cleaner bags, plastic wrap or shrink wrap 
  • Styrofoam® /polystyrene products to include packing peanuts, cups, plates, meat trays, egg cartons, electronic/applicance packing forms, etc.
  • glass dishes
  • window glass  


  • Most major grocery stores accept plastic grocery bags and Styrofoam® egg cartons and meat trays. They typically have containers near the entrance of the store for collection.
  • Dry cleaners will often take back coat hangers.
  • No window glass, mirrors, light bulbs, ovenware, ceramics, drinking glasses or eyeglasses are recyclable.
  • Place the blue bin on top of the red bin for collection on rainy days to hold papers down and to minimize the amount of rain soaked paper materials or hold the red recycling bin until the next recycling day.
  • Do not put recyclables except shredded paper in plastic bags.
  • Place recycling bins and garbage on the same side of your driveway, opposite yard waste containers.
  • Consider composting your yard waste and food waste.
Visit Hazardous Waste for proper disposal of items such as:
  • acids
  • aerosol cans (with product)
  • antifreeze
  • automotive fluids
  • diesel fuel
  • drain cleaners
  • fertilizers
  • fire extinguishers
  • gasoline
  • household cleaners 
  • kerosene
  • lawn and garden chemicals
  • varnishes and shellac
  • paint thinner and stripper
  • pesticides/herbicides/insecticides
  • propane tanks (20# and 1# only)
  • automotive/motorcycle batteries
  • rechargeable batteries* 
  • fluorescent light bulbs*
  • paints

*Many of the large home improvement retail stores will accept these items from residents.


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Sarasota County, Florida
TTY: 7-1-1
or 1-800-955-8771
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