Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
What is Recycling?
Recycling is the reprocessing of materials into new products. For example, instead of throwing away aluminum cans, reprocess them to make new aluminum cans. Instead of throwing away paper, reprocess it to make new paper products.
People leave recyclable materials out to be collected by their city's recycling vehicle, and can take recyclable materials to their city's collections points. Many schools, churches, and cities have recycling bins for paper, cans, and bottles. People also can take certain materials to businesses that accept recyclables.
Why should we recycle?
- Help protect the environment and your health. Electronic items have toxic materials in them, and if they are dumped in a landfill, the toxic materials can leak and pollute our land, our water, and our air -- the water that you drink and the air that you breathe.
- Recycling saves money. Removing trash costs more than removing recyclables. Therefore, throwing recyclables into the trash is like throwing money into a landfill. So the more we recycle, the more money we save.
- Recycling creates more jobs than using a landfill.
- Recycling saves energy. For example, recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing aluminum from ore. Recycling plastic saves 70% of the energy used in creating new plastic. And recycling paper saves 40% of the energy required to make a new product.
- Recycling reduces waste. Instead of throwing away useful materials, recycle them, which reduces consumption of finite resources, reduces energy usage, and reduces pollution.
- You can get paid for recycling certain materials: metal, aluminum, electronics, etc.
General information about recycling in the Dallas - Fort Worth area
- All cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have recycling programs.
- All cities recycle the same basic things: newspaper, paper, plastic containers, glass (all colors), cardboard, metal, aluminum cans.
- Cities do NOT accept food, Styrofoam, light bulbs, batteries, electronics (TVs, computers, cell phones), chemicals, prescription drugs, clothes, plastic wrap, paper towels, napkins.
- Some items can NOT be recycled in one city, but CAN be recycled in another city. For example, shredded paper cannot be recycled in Dallas (because it jams machinery), but it CAN be recycled in Fort Worth and Richardson.
- Dallas and Fort Worth give blue roll carts to residents who live in houses, and recycle items are picked up once a week. Richardson uses blue bags instead of roll carts.
- Right now, cities do NOT pick up recyclables at businesses or at multi-family buildings (apartments, retirement homes). In 2016, Dallas plans to start picking up recyclables at businesses and multi-family buildings.
- Some businesses, apartment complexes, and retirement homes have recycling programs, but items are picked up by private contractors, not by city trucks.
- Each city has multiple places where people can drop off recyclable items. These places are spread out all through the city. For example, Dallas has 135 drop-off locations.
- Some things that can NOT be recycled by the city CAN be recycled for FREE at different companies. For example, you can recycle light bulbs and batteries at Home Depot and at Lowe's. You can recycle batteries and electronic items at Best Buy. You can recycle cell phones and ink cartridges at Target stores. You can recycle shoes at Nike stores; click here for drop-off locations.
- For information about recycling e-waste (TVs, computers, etc.), see Electronic Companies... Take 'Em Back in Texas on our website's Conservation page.
Information about recycling is at each city's website.
Click below for information about a city's recycling program.
Click here to see other locations where you can recycle and what you can recycle.