Annually, Franklin County residents and businesses send over a million tons of material to the Franklin County Landfill. Even more surprising is that nearly 76% of all the material in the landfill could have been recycled or composted.
By taking just a few minutes to recycle right, you help to reduce pollution, contribute to clean water, conserve limited natural resources and reduce central Ohio’s reliance on landfills.
It’s time to throw out bad recycling habits.
It’s not enough just to recycle. It’s also important to recycle right. In Franklin County, there are six material types that are currently accepted for household recycling.
Paper & Cardboard
Plastic Bottles, Jugs & Tubs
Lids and labels accepted
Glass Bottles & Jars
All colors accepted
Remove aerosol tips
Rinse and remove lids and straws
Empty & remove straws
Keep items loose; don’t bag them.
Everything else should be reused, donated, composted or disposed of safely.
Recycling is easy, don’t make these common mistakes.
Avoid putting these items in with your recycling:
Plastic bags are not recyclable in the curbside or drop-off program containers. They can be recycled at more than 100 retail locations in Franklin County. Use the Recycle and Reuse Search Tool to find a location.
Tanglers can cause big problems at the recycling facility. Find recycling opportunities by using the Recycle and Reuse Search Tool to look up specific items.
Plastic & foam food containers
Carry out food containers are not accepted in curbside and drop-off recycling because they typically contain grease or food residue or the material the container is made of isn’t accepted.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs should be recycled at SWACO’s Household Hazardous Waste facility or at the many hardware stores that will accept them. Use the Recycle and Reuse Search Tool below to find a location. Other types of light bulbs can be disposed in your trash.
Party cups such as solo style cups are not accepted due to the lack of stable end users for that type of plastic resin known as polystyrene.
Styrofoam is not accepted in curbside and drop-off programs and should be disposed in the trash.
Any plastic item that is not a bottle, jug, tub or cup
Local recycling facilities are designed to accept only certain plastic items such as bottles, jugs, tubs & cups. All other plastic items should be reused, donated or disposed in the trash.
Needles & medical waste
Needles and other medical waste create serious health dangers for recycling workers and should never be included with your household recyclables. These items should be placed in a sharps container and disposed in the trash, or taken to a publicly available safe syringe disposal box that can be found using the Recycle and Reuse Search Tool.
Batteries can cause fires and should never be included with recyclables. Some rechargeable batteries can be recycled at hardware stores. Household batters are accepted at SWACO’s Household Hazardous Waste facility. Alkaline batteries may be put in the trash.
Containers used to store hazardous materials
These items should be placed in your household trash.
Putting unaccepted items into your recycling container can cause delays, put recycling workers at risk, and add expense to recycling.
Need to dispose of one of these items? We’ve got you covered. Find out what to do.
In Franklin County, curbside recycling service is available to over 96% of households and SWACO operates 50 recycling drop-off locations for residents and businesses without recycling services. To find information about a curbside program or find a drop-off location close to you, see the links below.
By putting your recyclables in a recycling bin or recycling location, you can give them new life. For example, what happens to a plastic bottle after it leaves your home?
Plastic bottles are collected along with other recyclable items such as cardboard, glass, and aluminum cans.
Once collected, recyclable materials are delivered to a processing facility where different material types are separated using a series of conveyor belts, screens, electro-magnets, and human sorters. Once separated, plastic bottles are compressed into bales, sold, and shipped for further processing.
4. Processing & Manufacturing
Plastic bottles and caps are chopped into small flakes and water is used to separate the materials by density—bottle pieces sink while cap pieces float. The separated material is heated into a liquid and extruded into long strands. The strands are cooled, chopped into pellets, and used to make a variety of products.
5. A New Life
Plastic bottles can be recycled into durable backyard decks, carpeting, new bottles, or even soft, comfortable fabric used for fashion or upholstery. Bottle caps can become tough kitchen bowls and cutting boards, car battery cases, toothbrushes, and storage bins.
Make a Difference
Start giving new life to all your recyclable materials. Learn about where you can recycle your items and how recycling makes a difference in our community.