City of College Park, Maryland

Public Works

Recycling in the City of College Park has come a long way. Single stream recycling was introduced to the City in 2008. Recycling (including single stream, electronics and yard waste) in College Park can account for up to 44% of the solid waste collected – which is good, but there is always room for improvement. .

Three suggestions for every resident to reduce the amount of recycling contamination at the curb so that recyclables are repurposed into new materials as intended:

  • Empty: Remove any remaining food or liquid contents from your recyclable item before placing it in a recycling container;
  • Clean: Lightly rinse the recyclable item to remove any remaining residue; and
  • Dry: Gently shake out excess water or let the recyclable item air-dry before placing it in a recycling container.

By adopting these three steps, we can each do our part to help reduce materials contamination and further enhance economic viability in the nation's recycling model. 

There are many ways that you can do your part to help save energy and reduce the volume of material going to the landfill by recycling your paper, bottles, cans, and many other materials. In addition to curbside recycling, you can also recycle many other materials through requesting special pickups, drop-off at the city's Public Works facility, or contacting organizations that re-use household goods, building materials, and more.

For more information on recycling in College Park, please follow these links:

Know What To Throw flyer

Curbside Single-Stream Recycling: What is and is not Accepted in the Blue Cart

Special Items Recycled by the City

Other Recycling & Reuse Opportunities

Recycling at Your Event

What Happens to My Recycling?

Recycling collected by the City of College Park Department of Public Works is taken to Waste Management Recycle America, located in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Click here to see a video from Waste Management about how single stream recycling is sorted at their facilities.

Why Recycle?

The Obvious…

  • Conserves energy and natural resources
  • Saves space at the landfill

The Not So Obvious… did you know that:

  • Every day, Maryland homes and businesses produce 41 million pounds of solid waste – enough to fill Ravens Stadium 3 times! (MD Department of the Environment)
  • Each person uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products each year. (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality)
  • Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. (American Forest & Paper Association), which can also save the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – EPA).
  • Recycling aluminum saves almost 95% of the energy needed to produce aluminum from its original source. (The Aluminum Association), and 1 recycled aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a TV for 3 hours. (Can Manufacturers Institute)
  • Recycling 1 glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 60-watt bulb for 4 hours, a computer for 30 minutes or a television for 20 minutes. (Glass Packaging Institute)
  • During 2007 in the U.S., 2.25 million tons of TVs, cell phones and computer products were discarded, but only 18% (414,000 tons) was collected for recycling; the rest was disposed of, primarily in landfills. (EPA)
  • Recycling 1 million desktop computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of over 17,000 passenger cars, and recycling 1 million cell phones saves enough energy to power more than 19,000 US households with electricity for an entire year. (EPA)

Recycling Tips - Please:

  • Empty bottles and containers and rinse your recyclables – the cleaner your recyclables are, the fewer problems with odor, insects and pests you will have, AND the better quality recyclables we will provide to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
  • Throw out items with high food contamination (like that really greasy pizza box from the weekend), and NEVER include containers for hazardous materials such as motor oil, as these types of items can contaminate an entire load of recycling, causing it all to go to the landfill.
  • Recycling carts and containers must be at the curb by 7:00 a.m. and removed by midnight on collection day.