Rochester recycling

Rochester, NY (pop. 210,532), is often lauded for having one of the best recycling programs of any mid-sized U.S. city. Every household in Rochester pays a mandatory refuse and recycling fee through the city’s property tax code, and every household is required to recycle. They are paying for it, after all. The city provides a standard blue recycling bin free of charge for weekly collection. Just one bin is used for all accepted recyclables; commingling these items makes it quick and easy for Rochester residents.

Materials recycled

Paper Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, junk mail, paperboard, paperback books, drink cartons and drink boxes and other clean paper accepted. Corrugated cardboard (flattened) should be placed under the bin if it is too large to fit and cut into 4 x 4 feet or smaller pieces. Plastics Plastic items numbered 1 through 7, including plastic bottles, plastic jugs, plastic jars, tubs, pails, buckets, lids and caps (separate from their containers), plastic food trays, Tupperware, plant containers and pots, broken laundry baskets, non-Styrofoam clamshell packaging, plastic utensils, plastic “blister” packaging and CD jewel cases are accepted. Metals Empty aluminum cans and bottles, empty steel cans and bottles, empty aerosol cans, cookware (pots, pans and lids), aluminum foil, foilware (pie pans, roast pans, etc.), metal lids or caps and old license plates (either cut in half or permanently defaced) are accepted. Glass Empty, clean glass bottles and containers are accepted.


Rochester residents take recyclables to the curb every week, same day as refuse. Bins should be placed curbside by 6:30 a.m. on the day of pick-up. Items that do not fit in the bin may be put in a paper bag and placed next to the bin.

Other programs

Residents of Monroe County (which includes Rochester and surrounding cities) can utilize the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program by appointment for free. The drop-off facility, located at 444 E. Henrietta Rd., accepts adhesives, drain cleaners, no-pest strips, ammonia, drain openers, oil-based paints, insecticides, dry gas, oven cleaners, antifreeze, used motor oil, epoxies, paint removers, auto and button batteries, ethers, paint thinners, bleach, flea collars and powders, rat poison, brake fluid, lacquers, charcoal lighters, turpentine and weed killers and fungicides. Call 585.753.7600 or use the online scheduler to make an appointment. The county also holds special HHW collection days. See the Monroe County website for up-to-date information.

More information

Visit the City of Rochester Recycling website for more recycling program info.