In Omaha, we use single-stream recycling. This means packer trucks (also called garbage trucks) marked with recycling signs collect and transport your recyclables to an indoor, semi-automated sorting facility.
Recycling is collected every other week, on the same day as waste collection. Place recyclables in your recycle cart (the one with the green lid) and set it out for collection when it is your recycling week. Find out your recycling group by clicking here and entering your address. A printable calendar to tell you which group is being collected each week is available by clicking here.
There are city ordinances that regulate how waste and recyclables are to be prepared for collection. The two sections of the Omaha Municipal Code that relate to solid waste are Chapter 33, ARTICLE II, Division 1, Section 33, Items 21-30 and Chapter 33, ARTICLE II, Division 2, Section 33, Items 41-49. The ordinances also speak to the ownership of material in recycling carts placed at the curb.
What Can I Recycle in My Cart?
Containers and Paper Items Described Below
Aluminum & Steel Cans
(empty and clean)
- Empty aerosol cans
- Food cans
- Beverage cans
- Paint cans – empty and dry with lid removed
Tip: Rinse. Place end (lid) of food cans inside can and crimp closed. Labels may stay on.
Plastic Bottles & Jugs
(empty and clean)
Plastic packaging with these numbers:
- Water & pop bottles
- Plastic bottles
- Cooking oil bottles
- Milk and Juice jugs
- Plastic food tubs tubs
- Plastic cups
- Clamshell containers
- Clear plastic packaging
- Snap top containers
- Plastic bottles
- Cookie trays
- Mouthwash bottles
- Shampoo bottles
- Cleaning product bottles
- DVD cases
Tip: Caps and lids are okay.
(all colors and types)
- Direct Mail
- Greeting Cards
- Detergent Boxes
- Paper Egg Cartons
- Wrapping Paper
- Paper Books
- School Paper
Tip: Packing tape and staples are okay.
Cardboard & Cartons
(flat, empty and clean)
- Delivery boxes
- Juice boxes
- Milk cartons
- Juice cartons
- Soup and stock boxes
Tip: Flatten boxes so they will take up less room. Packing tape and staples are okay
Do NOT Include:
(take to drop-off location)
NO Plastic Bags or Wrap
(return to retailer or place in Energy Bag)
Do not Bag Recyclables
(recyclables must be loose in cart)
(no hoses, wires, chains or electronics)
NO Food or Liquid
(empty and rinse all containers)
- Place items outside your cart
- Use your old green recycling bin – find another use for it, because it won’t be emptied
- Have items sticking out of your cart – you must be able to close the lid completely
- Exceed the 355-pound weight limit of the 96-gallon cart
- Leave your cart on the curb between collection days
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Omaha switch to a single stream recycling?
The city switched to a new and easy way of recycling called “single stream” to make it even easier for our residents to participate. You don’t need to cut boxes down or sort paper any longer. Just place your recyclables like cans and plastic bottles in your green bin and your paper materials in a paper bag or small box to help prevent litter and you are done! It’s O! so easy. The new system is also more economical to collect and process, helping us become more efficient so we use taxpayer dollars wisely.
Why should I recycle?
Omaha’s recycling program offers an easy and convenient way for you to do good, all from the comforts of your own home. Recycling is O! So Easy. By placing your recyclables in your green recycling bin, you can help divert materials from the landfill and help preserve natural resources. Each year residents of Omaha recycle around 15,000 tons of materials. That equates to half a million dollars in energy resources saved each year.
Do you I have to use a green bin to recycle? I'd like to use a larger garbage can.
Yes, you need to use the green recycling bin. The collection drivers are looking for the green bin to know there are recyclables to collect. Always use the green recycling bin and you may use a box or paper sack to hold additional recyclables.
- Place your recycle cart at your collection point before 6AM.
- Leave three feet of space between your waste and recycling carts.
Hefty® EnergyBag® Program
If you choose to participate in the EnergyBag® program, place the orange bag in your recycling cart.
Additional information on obtaining and the proper use of EnergyBag orange bags may be found by clicking here.
Remember: Place your cart directly at the curb or roadway for most homes before 6:00AM on your collection day.