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The Complete City of Orlando Recycling Guide

What is Recycling? Why Should I Recycle?

Recycling is an essential component of limiting our carbon footprint on Earth. The act of recycling includes placing materials into a separate container to be sorted and baled for reuse. Recycling allows us to turn materials that would have been thrown away as trash, into new products.

Recycling is beneficial for several reasons, it allows us to conserve natural resources, it reduces the amount of waste sent to a landfill (thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions), and it saves water and energy!

This article details how to recycle in the City of Orlando and how to dispose of other materials that aren’t recyclable. If you live in an area that does not have a recycling bin, search for your nearest dropoff location using the addresses provided below. Already recycle? Take the next step. Whether it be learning how to dispose of cooking oil, clothing, or how to compost, taking the next step to reduce your carbon footprint is essential to the preservation of our environment.

Now, let’s get started!

What Can Be Recycled?

Plastic

  • Plastic bottles and containers can be recycled
    • Disregard the plastic label.
  • Only plastics labeled #1-5, #7 
    • Plastics not labeled #1-5, or #7 must be disregarded in the trash.
  • No plastic bags (trash or shopping bags)
    • They can get tangled in the recycling machinery, sometimes sending the full load to landfill.
  • No film plastic
    • If you are looking to recycle plastic bags/film plastic follow this link and type your zip code in the “Find a Dropoff Location” option box.

Fun Fact: Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year! 

*TIP: Empty and clean  food containers and bottles before recycling*

Aluminum 

  • Tin cans (not flattened or crushed)
  • Tin (assorted)
  • Steel containers
  • Empty and dry aerosol cans

Fun Fact: Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours!

*TIP: Rinse out containers before recycling*

Paper

  • Newspapers (without the bag)
  • Brown paper (ex. Paper bags)
  • Office paper
  • Junk mail
  • Phone books
  • Magazines (without the plastic bag or plastic wrap)

Cooking Oil

Yes, you can recycle your cooking oil in the city of Orlando, which will turn into biodiesel! This is done via a chemical process known as transesterification. Pouring oil or grease down the drain can lead to sewer backups in homes.

Why Recycling Cooking Oil Matters:

  • Prevents blockage in sewer lines
  • Reduces expensive maintenance to the sewer system
  • Prevents sanitary sewer overflows

Steps To Recycle Cooking Oil:

  • Let oil cool down
  • Pour into any shatterproof container
  • Take to your nearest dropoff site to be recycled
  • Your cooking oil is processed into clean biofuel
  • Use this link to look for dropoff locations in the City of Orlando

Cardboard

  • Cardboard boxes (break these down!)
  • Dairy containers (make sure to disregard the cap)
  • Juice containers
  • Paperboard

Fun Fact: Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil!

*TIP: Packaging material & styrofoam from packages are usually not recyclable, make sure to remove them before breaking down your box*

Glass

  • Bottles and Jars (disregard lids!)

What Cannot Be Recycled?

  • Styrofoam containers (including egg cartons)
  • Polystyrene foam cups or containers 
  • Yard waste

What About Non-Recyclables?

Compost

If you are tired of throwing your food scraps in the trash, the City of Orlando can provide you with a FREE composter! Follow this link to learn more.

Clothing and Textiles

If you want to dispose of these, look for textile recycling boxes at various grocery stores, parking lots, shopping centers, and big box locations.

Electronics and Hazardous Waste (cleaning materials, oil, paint, pesticides, medical waste)

If you are looking to disregard these items, the Orange County Landfill accepts both.

Fun Fact: It requires 95% less energy and water to recycle a can than it does to create a can from virgin materials!

Closing Thoughts on Recycling in The City of Orlando

For more information, visit the City of Orlando Trash & Recycling website!

No recycling in your apartment complex/condominium? No problem! Here is a list of recycling dropoff locations in the City of Orlando:

  1. Dover Shore Community Center (1400 Gaston Foster Road)
  2. Engelwood Neighborhood Center (6123 Lacosta Drive)
  3. Lake Fairview Park (2200 Lee Road)
  4. Northwest Community Center (3955 WD Judge Road)
  5. Orlando Skate Park (400 Festival Way)
  6. Solid Waste Management Division (1028 South Woods Avenue) [front of the building]

Sources:

  1. https://www.orlando.gov/Trash-Recycling
  2. https://www.orlando.gov/Trash-Recycling/What-Goes-Where
  3. http://www.cityoforlando.net/Archive2016/RecyclingBooklet_WEB.pdf
  4. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/brandpublishing/a-better-you/os-recycling-is-a-family-activity-20160421-story.html
  5. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics 
  6. https://www.orlando.gov/Trash-Recycling/Request-a-Free-Composter 
  7. https://www.orlando.gov/Trash-Recycling
  8. https://choosesq.com/blog/the-biodiesel-process-making-fuel-from-waste/