Bloomington, IN (pop. 81,963), is best known as the home of Indiana University, but beyond that, the state’s fifth-largest city is also home to one of the strongest curbside recycling programs of any city under the 100,000-resident mark. The City of Bloomington gives each household one recycling bin to use for free, but comparable-sized household containers can also be used, as long as they hold no more than 35 gallons. In Bloomington, paper products need to be separated in a separate bin or paper bag from metals, glass and plastic items. Biweekly collection of a solid number of recyclables works for this city, and a network of drop-off locations, including a hazardous materials facility, keeps the waste from piling up.

Materials recycled

Paper Including junk mail, magazines, catalogs, office paper, shredded paper (must be bagged), newspaper, cardboard and paperboard. Boxes must be flattened and tied, and all paper products must be dry. Wax-coated items (milk cartons, frozen food packaging) are not accepted. Plastics Plastics numbered 1 through 5 and 7 are accepted (no polystyrene products). Metals Aluminum cans and steel/tin cans are accepted. Glass Glass jars and bottles accepted (clear, brown, blue and green).


Curbside recycling pick-up occurs on a biweekly basis on the same day as refuse pick-up. A collection schedule is available online.

Other programs

Bloomington residents can drop off recyclables — aluminum cans, steel/tin cans, clean scrap metal, white paper, mixed paper, wrapping paper, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, paper sacks, phonebooks, newspapers, cardboard, paperboard, plastics numbered 1 through 7, glass bottles and jars (clear, brown, blue and green), plastic sacks, shredded paper, batteries, antifreeze and motor oil — at the city’s recycling facilities:
  • South Walnut Recycling Facility, 3400 S. Walnut St. (Tuesday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) This location accepts all of the above-listed recyclables, plus CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes and cases, 8-track tapes, VHS tapes, paperback books, hardcover books and Styrofoam (including boxed or bagged packing peanuts).
  • Northeast Recycling Center, 6015 E. SR-45 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Westside Recycling Center, 341 Oard Rd. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Southside Recycling Center, 400 W. Dillman Rd. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Household hazardous waste, such as paint, gasoline, batteries, fertilizers, cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil, antifreeze, pool chemicals, medications, fluorescent lamps, and other items, can be taken to the Monroe County Hazardous Materials Facility (on the grounds of the South Walnut Recycling Center at 3400 S. Walnut St.). Freon-containing appliances may be dropped off at the Hazardous Materials Facility for a fee of $20. Latex paint will also incur a fee. For a complete list of acceptable items, click here. Spring Dry Cleaners, with two locations in town (444 S. Walnut St. and 3160 S. Walnut St.), accepts metal wire hangers for reuse.

More information

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