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Recycling Contamination

One of the challenges of single-stream recycling is the increase in contamination. Contaminants are those items that cannot be recycled in the curb side recycling program.

Please help make single-stream recycling in Albuquerque a success by keeping the following materials out of your blue cart.

  • Plastic Bags: Plastic bags of any type are the WORST contaminant in the recycling cart. They wrap themselves around the equipment at the material recovery facility (MRF). When enough bags have become tangled the MRF must shut down to remove plastic bags from the equipment. Please take all plastic bags back to your local grocery store where they can be recycled.
  • Do Not Bag recycling material: Albuquerque's recycling program is designed to work without residents having to bag their material. Employees at the MRF cannot determine what is in a bag and must remove it from the sorting process and throw it in the trash. In addition to not knowing what may or may not be in a bag, the bag itself is bad for the sorting equipment.
  • No scrap metal: Scrap metal can cause damage for the equipment at the MRF.
  • No Hazardous Waste: Hazardous waste such as paint, automotive fluids, car batteries and pesticides must be taken to Advanced Chemical Transport (A.C.T.).
  • No Diapers: Diapers are not recyclable. Please dispose of diapers properly in your black trash can.
  • No Glass: While glass is recyclable and the City does recycle glass; glass cannot be placed into your blue recycling cart. Broken glass causes both safety and contamination issues. Please take glass to any of the City's FREE drop-off locations to be recycled properly.
  • No Yard Waste: Yard waste is not recyclable in the City's curb side recycling cart program. Please take advantage of the City's FREE green waste collection twice a year.
  • No Pizza Boxes: While pizza boxes are made of cardboard they tend to be greasy and have food waste stuck to them. It is best to dispose of pizza boxes in your black trash can.
  • No TV's: TV's and computer monitors are not recyclable in your blue recycling cart. The glass in both of these items tend to break and cause both safety and contamination issues.
  • No Garden Hoses: Garden hoses wrap themselves around the equipment at the material recovery facility (MRF). When enough garden hoses have become tangled the MRF must shut down to remove hoses from the equipment. It is best to dispose of all hoses in your black trash can.