Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City provide residential recycling collection service?

Yes. In October 2014, the City’s Solid Waste Division began providing a single-stream recycling collection service for single-family and multi-family customers.

What is single-stream curbside recycling?

Single-stream curbside recycling means all permitted recyclable materials may be combined at your home and set out for collection in a co-mingled recycling container.

Which recyclable materials are accepted? Which materials are not accepted?

See the chart below for acceptable recyclable items and some items not accepted. For our Single-Stream Recycling graphic yes/no list, click here. For a more detailed list, click here to view our Single-Stream Recycling Yes/No list.


  • glass food and beverage containers
  • mixed paper (magazines, catalogs, junk mail, chipboard, milk/juice cartons, paperback books, telephone books)
  • newsprint (newspaper, advertising supplements)
  • office paper
  • shredded paper, provided it is bagged in clear, plastic bags
  • corrugated cardboard containers
  • tin, steel, and aluminum food and beverage containers
  • scrap metal sized to less than 30-inches in each direction and less than 50 pounds per piece
  • plastic containers marked with recycling symbols #1 through #7 (plastic bottles, tubs and jars).


  • Plastic Bags or Wrap
  • Styrofoam
  • Trash
  • Pyrex – Glass Cookware
  • Ceramics – Cups and Dishes
  • Food Scraps
  • Motor Oil Containers / Filters
  • Yard Waste or Leaves
  • Garden Hoses
  • Clothing andTextiles
  • Light Bulbs
  • Electronics
  • Bottle Caps

Can plastic bags be recycled in the curbside program?

No, plastic bags (shopping bags, sandwich bags, cling wrap) of any kind are NOT accepted in the curbside recycling program. While plastic bags can be recycled, they need to be separated from other recyclables. Plastic bags should never be placed in the blue recycling carts, or otherwise mixed with other recyclables. The commingled recyclables will be processed at a material recovery facility (MRF). While MRFs can sort many types of recyclables, they are unable to process plastic bags. Plastic bags often become entangled in sorting equipment, causing major equipment damage and downtime problems that add to the cost of the recycling program.

Plastic bags may be recycled at most grocery stores in Lawrence. Plastic bag recycling bins are typically located near the store entrance.

Where do I recycle items not accepted in my blue cart?

The Recyclable Materials Directory allows you to find providers of recycling services in the Lawrence area. Once you select the material you are wanting to recycle, a list of area businesses or drop-off locations will appear.

Can I request an additional recycling cart or a different size recycling cart?

Residents with special needs may request a smaller recycling cart (65 or 35 gallon). The City highly recommends that residents try the standard 95-gallon recycling cart before placing an exchange order due to the every-other-week collection schedule for recycling. Residents may request additional 95-gallon recycling carts at no additional fee. You may order additional 95-gallon recycling carts or request a smaller recycling cart by filling out this online form. The City will provide one cart size change per address (owner/occupant) per calendar year free of charge. The City will charge a $20.00 service fee for any additional requests to change cart sizes.

How often are recyclables collected?

Recycling collection frequency is every-other-week on the same day as your trash day. Click here to view the collection schedule map and find your first day of service (week A or week B). Receive notifications for your waste collection days via text, email, phone call or mobile app by signing up here.

Are there any guidelines for placing permitted recyclables in the recycling cart?

Please rinse food residue off all recyclables, place only dry paper in your cart, and flatten chipboard and cardboard boxes.

Where are the recyclable materials processed and who does the processing?

The recyclable materials collected by the City crews are transported a few miles northeast of Lawrence to the Hamm Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Hamm sorts, processes and markets the recyclable materials.

**See the sorting process in action at the Hamm MRF! Click here to watch a video that walks through the sorting process (video produced by Hamm).**