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RECYCLING IN CORPUS CHRISTI
Many everyday items are recyclable through the City of Corpus Christi's curbside recycling program. There is no need to sort recyclables accepted by the program, be sure to give them a quick rinse and empty all liquids before placing them in the blue recycling cart.
 

Why Recycle?

Recycling gives materials a chance to be used to their fullest extent. Paper, plastic, cardboard, and metals can be recycled, reinvented, and repurposed into new products. Recycling benefits us in the following ways:

  • Saves natural resources
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces pollution
  • Reduces greenhouse gasses
  • Extends the life of the landfill
     

How to be a Successful Recycler

  • Know which items are recyclable in Corpus Christi. Many items have a recycling symbol (the chasing arrows), but all recycling programs do not accept the same materials. Recyclable items accepted in other cities may not be in Corpus Christi.
  • Always rinse out liquid or food residue. A quick rinse will do. Do not place liquids in the recycling cart.
  • Break down/flatten cardboard boxes. Remove and place packing peanuts, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or plastic packaging in the trash.
  • Keep recyclables loose, and do not place recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags of any kind do not belong in the City's program.
  • Never overstuff your recycle cart. The cardboard may become wedged and difficult to empty.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Any time an item looks questionable, such as foil-covered, glittery, glitzy, mixed-materials (two or more recyclable materials in one), hangers, brooms/mops, it's best to throw it away in the trash cart.
     

What to Recycle in the Blue Cart

Items accepted into the City of Corpus Christi curbside recycling program.

  • Paper: office and notebook paper, junk mail, newspaper, magazines, catalogs, paperback books, cardboard rolls, phone books, greeting cards, flyers, construction paper, and paper bags.
  • Cardboard: corrugated cardboard, paper board, dry and frozen food boxes (cereal, mac & cheese, pasta, crackers).
  • Plastic: water/soda bottles (caps removed), milk/juice/tea jugs (caps removed), butter, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt tubs, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, dressing bottles, detergent, dishwashing, soap, and lotion bottles and jugs.
  • Metal: aluminum cans and bottles, steel food and beverage cans.  
     
  • Helpful Tips:
    • If a recyclable item is smaller than a credit card, put it in the trash. The automated processing equipment is less likely to capture anything smaller than a credit card.
    • It is reasonable to discard some containers in the trash when food residue, like peanut butter, is difficult to remove.
       

Recycling Drop Off Locations

J.C. Elliott Transfer Station
View on Google Maps »

Highway 286 at Ayers
Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Republic Services
View on Google Maps »

4414 Agnes Street
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Donate or Store Drop Off (Never place in the Blue Cart)

Local retailers and organizations offer opportunities to donate reusable goods and recycle some items. Please check with your favorite grocery, hardware, retailer, dry-cleaner, and other organizations for information about their programs.

  • Air Pillows (for shipping)
  • Cell Phones
  • CFL Lightbulbs
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Ink Cartridges
  • MP3 Players
  • Packing Peanuts
  • Plastic Plant Pots
  • Single-Use Plastic Bags (grocery, shopping, produce bags)
  • Product Overwrap (found on cases of paper towels, toilet paper, bottled water)
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Wire Clothes Hangers
     

Helpful Links:

 

Recycling Contamination

Contamination happens when prohibited items (not allowed) in the City of Corpus Christi's curbside recycling program get placed into a blue recycling cart.

Why does contamination matter?
Contamination can turn recyclables into trash, and clean recyclables become dirty or impossible to sort. Contamination comes at a high cost by increasing the volume of materials the City pays to sort, damaging the recycling processing equipment, decreasing productivity, and lowering the value of the recyclable material.
 

Recycle SMART Corpus Christi

Recycle SMART is a city-wide program to improve recycling habits through education and outreach. The goal is to reduce the amount of trash in recycling carts. By doing so, we improve the quality and value of recyclable material in all recycling carts, reduce processing costs, and help ensure a sustainable recycling program.
 

Recycle SMART Tips

If one trash cart is not enough, residents can request a second trash cart for a small monthly fee.

Single items made of two or more materials are not recyclable in the curbside recycling program. Examples include spiral notebooks and padded/bubble mailers.

Plastic bags cannot be recycled in our local program. Check for store drop-off options.

 

What Recycle SMART Tags Mean

  • Great Job! -
    • This tag is issued when filling your cart with empty, clean, and dry recyclable materials. Thank you for Recycling SMART.
       
  • Oops! -
    • The Oops! tag identifies which item(s) contaminates the blue recycling cart. These items belong in trash carts. The cart contents will be collected and processed for recycling as usual.
       
  • First Notice -
    • The First Notice of Contamination, like the Oops! tag, identifies item(s) contaminating the blue recycling cart. The cart will not be serviced due to a large amount of contamination. Customers must remove the contaminating item(s) and throw them in the trash before the next recycling pick-up date.
       
  • Second Notice -
    • Like the First Notice of Contamination, the Second Notice identifies item(s) contaminating the blue recycling cart. The cart will not be serviced due to a large amount of contamination. Customers must remove the contaminating item(s) and throw them in the trash before the next recycling pick-up date.
       
  • Third Notice -
    • The Third Notice of Contamination, like the First and Second Notice, identifies item(s) contaminating the blue recycling cart. Upon receipt of the Third Notice, a garbage truck will collect the contents of the blue recycling cart as trash. A waste collection fee will be added to the customer's utility bill.
       
  • Fourth Notice -
      • The Fourth Notice of Contamination identifies item(s) contaminating the blue recycling cart. Upon receipt of the Fourth Notice, a garbage truck collects the cart contents as trash. The blue recycling cart is removed from the address.

 

Recycle Coach

Recycle Coach is a free application offered to Solid Waste Services customers. Recycle Coach can be downloaded to desktops, laptops, or cell phones and provides the following benefits:

  • Collection Calendar (For Recycling, Trash, Brush, and Special Collection Events. Never miss another pick-up day again.)
  • Set-Out Reminders (Schedule changes, holidays, and more!)
  • What Goes Where? (Tips on what is and isn't recyclable.)

 

Other Disposal Solutions

J.C. Elliott Transfer Station
Highway 286 at Ayers Street
Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Corpus Christi Residents may use the J.C. Elliott Transfer Station to dispose of other waste such as:

  • Appliances
  • Brush, construction materials, dimensional lumber, wood pallets.
  • Tires (4 Automobile or Truck per trip)
  • Hazardous Waste: Anti-freeze, solvents, used motor oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and gasoline. Liquid paint, spray paint, paint thinners, paint stripper, wood preservatives, brush cleaner. Pesticides, weed killer, rat poison, insecticides. Drain cleaner, de-greasers, oven cleaners, mothballs, cleaning solvents, spot removers, polishes, pool chemicals, and household batteries.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


I have a broken blue recycling cart. Can I get it repaired?

Yes. Contact the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or 361-826-CITY (2489).

 

Can clean and empty Keurig-style plastic cups be recycled?

No. Commonly referred to as K-Cups, these plastic containers are smaller than a credit card, contain multiple materials, and are prohibited by our program.

 

Can appliances be recycled?

Yes, but not in the blue recycling cart. Small electric appliances belong in your trash cart. Large appliances can be dropped off for recycling at the J.C. Elliott Transfer Station.

 

Do I have to remove the caps or lids off containers before placing them in the blue recycling cart?

Yes. Please remove caps and lids.

 

Should I put my recyclables in a bag to keep them separate?

No. Bags and contents are considered trash.

 

Why aren't plastic bags accepted?

Plastic bags create processing problems as they become tangled or melt into the gears of the recycling equipment. They cause damage, delays, and costly repairs. Drop off plastic shopping bags, shrink wrap, dry cleaning, and bread bags at your favorite grocery shopping store.

 

The cap says to "recycle me" does that mean it goes in the blue recycling cart?

No. Bottle caps cannot be recycled at our facilities.

 

Can I take my recycling to the Litter Critter Event?

No. Litter Critter events accept everyday items not recyclable in our local program. Recycling may be taken to Republic Services at 4414 Agnes or the J.C. Elliott Transfer Station at 4001 Ayers for processing.

 

What do I do with AA, AAA, C, and D alkaline batteries?

Place these common household batteries in the trash cart. Landfills safely accommodate this type of waste.

 

My milk carton says it's recyclable, so can I still place it inside the blue recycling cart?

No. Milk, juice, stock, and wine cartons are often covered in food-grade wax or lined in plastic. Corpus Christi recycling facilities do not process these mixed materials.

 

Can we get a second recycling cart?

Yes. Contact the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or 361-826-CITY (2489).

 

I just moved and have a lot of cardboard boxes. They don't fit in the blue recycling cart. Where can I take them to be recycled?

The City offers a one-time pick-up of moving boxes. Contact the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or 361-826-CITY (2489).

 

I received an "Oops!" tag on my recycling bin. Will I get charged?

No. The Oops! tag identifies which item(s) contaminates the blue recycling cart. Be sure to throw these items in the trash. The cart contents will be collected and processed for recycling as usual.

 

Does the blue recycling cart belong to me?

No. Blue recycling carts and trash carts are property of the City.

 

Do I have to clean my recyclables?

Plastic containers, aluminum, and steel cans need a quick rinse of residue before tossing into the blue recycling cart.

 

A garbage truck picked up my recycling. Are you throwing away my recyclables in the landfill?

No. Our collection trucks are dual-purpose. Some trucks have a recycling message on the side but are used to collect trash or recycling on different days.

 

We don't recycle. Can I turn in my blue recycling cart?

Yes. Contact the City's Call Center by dialing 311 or 361-826-CITY (2489). Our team will place a work order to pick up your blue recycling cart.

 

Can I bag my recyclables?

No. Plastic bags and items contained in plastic bags are considered trash by the processing facility.

 

What is Recycle Coach?

Recycle Coach is a free app downloadable onto your phone, tablet, or desktop. The app includes garbage, recycling, brush/bulky schedules based on your address, updates, and the What Goes Where feature can help you identify which items are recyclable and which items are trash.