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Blue Bin Recycling



LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) provides solid resources collection services to over 750,000 households, comprised of roughly 530,000 single-family and 220,000 multi-family homes (duplex to four-unit buildings). The four-bin collection system consists of black bins (trash sent to landfill), blue bins (recyclables), green bins (yard trimmings), and brown bins (horse manure). Using the calculation methodology adopted by the State of California, the City has achieved a landfill diversion rate of 76.4%. Waste management is a fundamental component of overall environmental sustainability and climate change efforts, and an integral part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gases.
Blue Bin Recycling - Blue Bin
Boasting the largest curbside recycling program in the country, LASAN collects an average of 800 tons per day of recyclable materials. Los Angeles’ Green New Deal, launched by Mayor Eric Garcetti in April 2019, set aggressive goals with regards to waste: achieving a zero waste future by phasing out styrofoam by 2021, ending the use of plastic straws and single-use takeout containers by 2028, and no longer sending any trash to landfills by 2050.

In order to achieve zero waste, the 4 Rs need to be in place:  reduce, reuse, recycle, recover.  The City of Los Angeles achieved a recycling rate of 76.4%, one of the highest in the ten largest U.S. cities.  We can do better.

Recycling Contamination

Recycling contamination is when non-recyclable materials are placed in the blue recycling bin, preventing the entire collected load from being recycled properly.  One of the easiest ways to prevent contamination is to ensure that all materials placed in the blue bin are clean and dry.  It’s also helpful to understand what can and cannot be recycled in the City of Los Angeles.

Blue Bin Recycling - Recycling Contamination


LASAN is launching a recycling education campaign to help residents better understand the basics of recycling. Recycling loads are being checked weekly for specific neighborhoods and at the end of the Challenge, the neighborhood with the most improvement in recycling will receive a FREE essentials pantry where participants can shop for household essentials at no cost.

Click here to learn more about the Challenge.
* Please note that we are postponing the Challenge and will share more information when we approach the relaunch.

Neighbor to Neighbor challenge graphic 400px




All clean dry paper, including:

  • Computer paper
  • Ledger paper
  • Arts and craft paper
  • Unwanted mail
  • Flyers
  • Telephone books
  • Note cards
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • File folders
  • Paper bags
  • Post-it notes
  • Catalogs
  • All envelopes, including window envelopes



All cardboard boxes and chipboard, including:

  • Cereal boxes
  • Tissue boxes
  • Dry food boxes
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Detergent boxes
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • Cardboard boxes (broken down and flattened)



All refrigerated, shelf-stable, aseptic packaging, including:

  • Fruit juice boxes and cartons
  • Orange juice cartons
  • Milk cartons
  • Wine boxes
  • Soy milk, rice milk and almond milk boxes and cartons
  • Cereal boxes
  • Heavy cream cartons
  • Egg substitute cartons



All aluminum, tin, metal, and bi-metal cans, wiped out if possible, including:

  • Soda cans
  • Juice cans
  • Soup cans
  • Vegetables cans
  • Pet food cans
  • Pie tins
  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Empty paint and aerosol cans
  • Wire hangers



All glass bottles and jars, wiped out if possible, including:

  • Soda bottles
  • Wine bottles
  • Beer bottles
  • Spaghetti sauce jars
  • Pickle jars
  • Broken bottles



All plastics numbers 1 through 7

Empty plastic containers, wiped out if possible, including:

  • Soda bottles 
  • Juice bottles
  • Detergent containers
  • Bleach containers
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Lotion bottles
  • Mouthwash bottles
  • Dishwashing liquid bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Tubs for margarine and yogurt
  • Plastic planters
  • Food and blister packaging
  • Rigid clamshell packaging
  • All clean plastic bags (grocery bags, dry cleaner bags, and film plastics)
  • All clean polystyrene products (plates, cups, containers, egg cartons, block packaging, and packing materials)
  • Plastic hangers
  • Non-electric plastic toys
  • Plastic swimming pools
  • Plastic laundry baskets
  • Car seats (cloth removed)




If these items are placed in the blue container, there's a likelihood of contaminating the other clean materials. Please ensure that the items placed in the blue container are clean and free from contaminants.


Contaminated Paper: 

  • Heavily soiled papers or bags with oils or food waste should be placed inside the black bin.


Glass (the following items should be placed inside the black bin): 

  • Window glass
  • Mirror glass
  • Auto glass
  • Standard light bulbs
  • Crystal
  • Ceramics 


Miscellaneous Materials: 

  • Cloth/fabric
  • Mini blinds
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Lawn furniture
  • Garden hoses
  • Rubber tires
  • Construction materials, including asphalt or concrete, wood and wood products

These miscellaneous materials may have special handling requirements so please contact the LASAN Customer Care Center at 1-800-773-2489 for information on how to dispose of such items.


Electronic Waste: 

  • All electronic devices
  • Electrical cords and wiring
  • Electric or battery operated toys
  • Appliances
  • Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs
  • All batteries (including car batteries, household batteries, and rechargeable batteries)

E-waste is accepted at the curbside by special appointment (contact our Call Center) or by drop-off at S.A.F.E. Centers and Mobile Collection Events.


Hazardous Materials: 

  • Syringes and needles
  • Medical waste
  • Drugs (pills, liquids, gel caps, vials, and injectables)
  • All partially filled aerosol cans and containers for cleaning fluids, automotive fluids, pesticides, oil based paint, garden chemicals, and pool cleaners

Household hazardous waste (HHW) can be taken to our S.A.F.E. Centers and Mobile Collection Events.