The City of Albany enjoys one of the highest waste diversion rates in the county thanks to our active recyclers and composters in the residential community. The City provides both residential collection services for recycling (commingled “all-in-one” recycling), organics (food scraps and yard waste), and trash.
In addition to proper sorting of materials, we encourage everyone to think about ways to reduce the purchase of products with high environmental impact.
Learn How to Recycle Right!
Check out our Recycling 101 Crash Course materials!
Not all plastic and paper products are created equally. To avoid contamination in your recycling and organics carts, follow these guidelines:
Below is an explanation of our current recycling program. Please not that this information could shift at any time, based on global markets outside of our control.
Glass & Metal: Glass bottles and jars, and metal cans, containers, and foil are highly recyclable as long as they are empty, clean, dry, and placed directly into the recycling bin (not in plastic bags).
Paper Products: Clean, dry paper products such as unlined cardboard and paperboard, newspaper, and paper sheets can be recycled. Unlined paper products that are soiled with food product or grease (a pizza box, for example) should be placed into your organics bin so that it can compost and not contaminate the clean and dry paper in the recycling bin. Plastic-lined paper products, such as paper plates and cups that have a thin plastic lining over the paper, should be placed in the trash bin.
Plastics: The plastics that are most likely to be recycled are hard plastic bottles, tubs, and jugs, however it is important that they are disposed of properly in order to ensure that they are recycled. These plastics must be empty, clean, dry, and placed directly into the recycling bin (not bagged - the bags get tangled in the sorting machinery and can break the system). Loose plastic bags, plastic utensils and straws, and flimsy plastic (plastic film/wrap) should be placed in the trash cart – these plastics are not easily recyclable, and if placed in the recycling cart with other recyclables, could contaminate the load and cause the entire load to be landfilled. Plastic bags and plastic film (like shrink wrap) are no longer accepted by Waste Management for recycling. Please visit RecycleWhere.org to find places that accept these items for recycling.
“Compostable” or “Biodegradable” Plastics: Plastics labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” do not compost under the standard composting procedure, as they need higher temperatures and wetter conditions than organic materials do to decompose properly. Plastic cups, utensils, straws, and bags labeled "compostable" or "biodegradable" should be placed in the trash cart to avoid contaminating organic compost loads with plastics. We discourage the purchase of these items, as they cause confusion and contaminate organics and recycling loads.