About recycling

Help keep Lexington’s Recycle Center running by recycling properly. Not everything with a recycle symbol can be recycled locally. 

The Recycle Center now accepts:

  • aluminum and steel cans, lids and canisters
  • #1 and #2 plastic bottles, jars and jugs (caps on)
  • paper
  • cartons (caps on)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • cardboard
  • paperboard

You can download and print the flyer to help you remember.

Have questions about specific items? See the bullets below and/or visit our FAQ page for answers.

Materials put in recycle carts and dumpsters should be clean, dry and loose. Recyclable materials should never be bagged. Shredded paper cannot be accepted; hold shredded paper for the next Paper Shred event. 

There are yellow paper-only bins scattered around Lexington. These dumpsters are for clean paper only, which includes office paper, paper mail, newspaper, magazines and catalogs.

The Lexington Recycle Center serves communities throughout Central Kentucky. It is important that people who recycle in Lexington and in partnering communities recycle right. Partner communities include Anderson County, Berea, Boyle County, Clark County, Danville, Frankfort, Franklin County, Georgetown, Harrison County, Harrodsburg, Jessamine County, Lawrenceburg, Madison County, Montgomery County, Nicholasville, Scott County, Shelby County, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Versailles and Winchester.

If your community recycles with us, the information on acceptable and unwanted items applies to you as well. Please note that some affiliates don’t accept glass due to the risk to collectors.

We expect to post an updated virtual tour of the Lexington Recycle Center this summer.

Partner communities

Partners map

 

Acceptable items

Never bag recyclables. Items should be put in the blue cart or recycling dumpster clean, dry and loose.

  • Aluminum cans: soda and beer cans
  • Steel cans, lids and canisters: canned food (labels can stay on); lids from spaghetti sauce, salsa and other glass food jars (lid separate from jar); metal canisters for coffee, tea or cookies
  • Plastic screw top bottles, jugs and jars (caps on): soda and water bottles; milk jugs; liquid laundry detergent jugs; peanut butter jars
  • Dry cardboard with packing material removed: moving boxes; shipping boxes; carry out/delivery pizza boxes (please throw away parts of the box with food residue or grease)
  • Box board: gift boxes; shoe boxes; cereal boxes; toilet paper rolls; paper towel rolls; wrapping paper rolls; soda or beer boxes; tissue boxes; frozen food boxes; paper egg cartons; clean, paper takeout containers (plastic takeout containers are NOT accepted)
  • Paper: office paper; magazines; catalogs; envelopes; newspaper; packing paper
  • Cartons: milk; cream; juice; broth; wine (bladder removed); soup
  • Brown paper: paper grocery bags; packing paper; kraft paper
  • Glass bottles and jars, colored and clear: soda, beer and wine bottles; pasta sauce jars; salsa jars

The specific items listed are examples, not a comprehensive list. If you have questions about an item, visit our FAQ page.

Download a flyer on what to recycle

Spanish version of flyer

Unwanted items

Trash in recycling carts and dumpsters make the Recycle Center less efficient. Many unwanted items can damage equipment or pose a risk to workers. Please throw these items away in your green roll cart or dispose of them using the alternative method indicated. These items include:

  • Plastic bags, wrap and film (Several stores accept plastic bags for recycling.)
  • Air pockets (often used for shipping)
  • Hoses
  • Bungee cords
  • Batteries (Batteries can be recycled at the Electronic Recycling Center.)
  • Electronics like TVs, computers, phones and more (These items can be recycled at the Electronic Recycling Center.)
  • Compressed gas canisters (Return to the purchase location or hold for the next HHW Event.)
  • Shredded paper (Throw in green trash cart or bring to the next Paper Shred.)
  • Clothes (Several charities will accept clothing and other cloth items for reuse.)
  • Chains (There is a special metal recycling dumpster located at the Recycling Center. Chains should not be put in curbside recycling carts or recycling dumpsters.)
  • Medical waste (Place used needles and other sharp objects inside a sharps container (like a coffee can), seal it so it won't come open and then dispose of the can with your household trash. Urine bags and medical tubing can be put in green trash carts after they are secured in garbage bags. Empty urine bags first.)
  • Pyrex or plate glass
  • Ceramics
  • String lights (String lights can be recycled at the Electronic Recycling Center[ARP5] .)
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Clam shell packaging
  • Disposable cups, hot or cold
  • Aluminum foil, pie tins and baking tins
  • K-Cup type pods
  • Plastic yogurt cups, sour cream containers and other similar containers
  • Wrapping and tissue paper

Curbside carts

Lexington-Fayette residents and businesses with city waste collection services can recycle using their blue roll cart. If you do not have a blue recycle cart, request one by calling LexCall at 311 or online

As is the case with all carts, your blue recycle cart should be placed on the curb no earlier than 4 p.m. the day before your collection and no later than 5 a.m. on the day of your collection. Carts must be removed from the curb by 7 p.m. on your collection day. Find your collection day.

Residents can request additional blue carts. There is a one-time $60 container fee and $3.60 sales tax for each additional blue cart. Call LexCall for more information or to request an extra cart.

Businesses are allotted two carts. Additional carts can be requested. If approved, there will be a one-time charge of $60 for each additional cart plus $3.60 sales tax. 

Excess cardboard may be placed at the curb near your carts on your regular collection day. Boxes must be empty, flattened and tied or bundled. Please do not set cardboard out on rainy days. It is important to keep recyclable materials dry.

Residents who do not receive city waste collection services can recycle using one of the blue mixed drop-off recycling containers located throughout Lexington. Material disposed of using either a blue roll cart or drop-off container should be loose, never bagged.    

Contact