Rules for recycling in the Circle City

Pile of bottles and plastic containers

Recyclables on their way to be processed | Photo via @knaufna

We’re breaking down everything you need to know about recycling in Indy so you can be clean, green, recycling machines.

Where do I take my recycling?

The city contracts with Republic Services for drop-off recycling sites throughout the city, and you can also subscribe for curbside pickup from Republic or Ray’s, depending on your location.

Map of recycling locations in Indy

Map of recycling locations in Indy | Photo via Indianapolis Office of Sustainability

Can I leave my recyclables in a bag when I throw it in the bin?

Short answerno.

Long answer — Bagged recyclables are a safety hazard to sorters, as there could be broken glass, needles, or rusted cans inside. Plastic bags also get tangled up in the gears on the line, which is a costly process to clear.

Where is Indy’s recycling taken?

Ray’s Trash + Republic Services both have materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in Indy, where materials are sorted and sold to manufacturing companies — recycling is actually a critical supply input for Hoosier manufacturing.

Do recycle:

  • All colors of glass
  • Newspaper, cardboard, paper + magazines — make sure to break down your boxes
  • No. 1 + No. 2 plastic containers
  • Aluminum, tin + steel beverage and food cans

Don’t recycle:

  • Plastic bags are recyclable, but they can’t be thrown in with everything else. Instead, drop them off at the entrances of places like Meijer.
  • Pizza boxes are also not recyclable, due to grease residue.

⚠️ Pro tips:

  • Food/drink containers should be visibly clean, as they could contaminate the entire bin if enough recyclables are left uncleaned.
  • Electronics can be recycled at a ToxDrop location.
  • Single-use coffee cups — the only thing recyclable about a Starbucks cup is the cardboard sleeve, so if you do need a caffeine fix, try to remember to bring your own cup.
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