Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

Recycling

Recycling is collected every other week on the same day as waste collection.  To give an accurate answer we’ll need to look up the address. You may do so by clicking here or call 402-444-5238 for assistance in determining your collection day and whether you are in the A group or the B group.  Then follow the calendar posted here.

A complete explanation is available when you click here or you can jump directly to our recycling chart.

To put it simply you may place the following in your green recycling cart:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Steel cans
  • Plastics bottles and packaging 1, 2, 3 and 5 (check the bottom of the bottle for number inside a triangle set of arrows)
  • Milk cartons, juice and soup boxes
  • We don’t accept glass in the cart. Glass can be recycled at the drop-off sites.

Put the following in a paper bag so you don’t cause litter and then place in your green recycling cart:

  • All clean paper including newspapers, magazines, junk mail and cardboard.

More than 15 years ago The city switched to an easier way of recycling called “single stream.” All recyclables go in your green lidded cart mixed together.  No need to sort anything.

Omaha switched to single-stream recycling collection to make recycling even easier but single-stream recycling is collected in a compactor truck that would break glass. This meant that Omaha had to remove glass from the system because it can be dangerous for the recycling workers and contaminate other materials such as paper. You can still recycle glass by taking your glass to one of the Omaha area drop-off sites. The list of drop-off sites is available by clicking here.

Six holidays are observed by the collection contractor and affect the collection schedule of all material, recycling, waste and yardwaste. When holidays occur during the work week collection is delayed by one day for the remainder of that week, with the regularly scheduled Friday collection occurring on Saturday. View our holiday schedule » An e-mail reminders service about the holiday collection schedule is available. To register click here.

Visit our website at www.OmahaRecycles.com. Also watch your mail for our publication WASTELINE that is mailed out several times per year. To look at back issues, click here.

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 cart, 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.

Recyclables are picked up every other week in Omaha. FCC, our collection contractor, uses packer trucks, commonly called garbage trucks. Trucks are labeled for the material they are collecting, RECYCLE, or GARBAGE. The recyclables are taken to an indoor, semi-automated, processing facility under contract with the city. This company separates the different materials, compacts and bales the material for shipment to various companies to make new items. By using recycled resources to make new items, companies save billions of dollars each year in energy costs. Here is an example of the process: an aluminum can that is recycled in Omaha, will be shipped to an aluminum plant where it is melted and used to make a new can that is then back on store shelves in as little as 60 days. That is called closed loop recycling and it starts right in your kitchen when you choose to recycle that can!

Like this but it will say recycle

We offer recycling to all the single-family households in Omaha and also the apartment buildings where the property owner has registered to have the City collect the building’s waste and recyclables. For apartment buildings that we don’t provide service to, we do encourage you to use any of the Omaha drop-off locations. A listing of drop-off sites is available by clicking here.

No. The recycling cart is for recycling only and it is important to not contaminate the contents with other wastes. Repeated misuse of the recycling cart may result in it being removed.

YES! Starting the week of November 30, you can’t use anything but the carts provided. No garbage cans and no green bins. You can’t use look-alike carts, either. By look-alike, we mean carts that retailers sell that look like the City of Omaha’s new collection carts. The big difference? They aren’t marked with the official City of Omaha seal. FCC Environmental WILL NOT collect your waste and recyclables if you don’t place them in the carts you received from the City of Omaha. It’s that simple!

An occasional rinse with a hose is all that should be needed to keep it clean and free from attracting pests.

Every other week on your normal collection day. Remember – the switch to the every other week schedule started back on June 29, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Your assignment of A or B group recycling, and which week we are on can all be found at wasteline.org.

YES! Starting the week of November 30, only material in carts will be collected. You can’t use look-alike carts, either. By look-alike we mean carts that retailers sell that look like the City of Omaha’s new collection carts. The big difference? They are not marked with the official City of Omaha seal. FCC Environmental WILL NOT collect your recyclables if you don’t place them in the recycling cart you received from the City of Omaha.

Firstly, we want to congratulate you on being so green! Secondly, you can lease an additional recycling cart from FCC Environmental. The annual cost is $45.50 – half the cost of renting an additional waste cart! It must be paid in advance and includes delivery. If your home has more than five family members living in it, the City of Omaha can provide you with an additional recycling cart at no cost to you. There is a registration form for this service available at wasteline.org/mycart, or call 402-444-5238 for the form to be mailed to you. It may go without saying, but are you flattening your boxes? That can take up a lot of space.

Distributed with your carts is a starter kit and instructions for orange Hefty Energy Bags. If you already use Hefty Energy Bags GREAT, keep doing what you’re doing. If orange Energy Bags are new to you, they are an alternative to recycling for plastics that Omaha doesn’t otherwise collect. Additional Hefty Energy Bags may be purchased at local stores. For more information: hefty.com/hefty-energybag.

You should store it inside your garage/shed or outside your home in a convenient location. You CAN’T keep your recycling cart at the curb all week – it can only be there on your collection day. If storage in your garage or behind your home isn’t possible, you may consider putting in a screen fence or adding shrubbery. Take a walk around your block and see how your neighbors are storing their carts – you might get some great ideas!

An occasional rinse with a hose is all that should be needed to keep it clean and free from attracting pests.

As we suggested above, consider using it to recycle glass or to collect recyclables in the house or garage before taking to your cart! It also makes a great storage container for items in your garage, garden tools, etc. If you add drainage to its bottom, turn it into a planter for your tomatoes! If you can’t repurpose it, you can place it in your new recycling cart.

Yes. Some retailers sell carts that look like the City of Omaha’s new collection carts. The big difference? They aren’t marked with the official City of Omaha seal. FCC Environmental WILL NOT collect your waste and recyclables if you don’t place them in the carts you received from the City of Omaha. It’s that simple.

The new wheeled carts help automate the collection process, which will increase collection efficiency and help avoid worker injury. It standardizes the collection so everyone gets an equal and fair amount. Most cities Omaha’s size have already transitioned to an automated collection system. It’s time to join them and enjoy the benefits of a modernized system.

The new waste collection vehicles have a mechanism that lifts the carts and dumps the contents into the truck. Where possible, the collection will be completed without a worker outside the cab of the truck — again, for efficiency and safety.

The week of November 30, 2020 and no sooner! Your collection day won’t change. For example, if your collection day is Thursday, your waste cart will be collected Thursday, December 3 and every Thursday after that. Your recycling cart will be collected every other week according to your current schedule. If you are unsure of your collection day and recycling week, visit doc.wasteline.org.

The time has not changed. Your carts should be put out before 6:00AM on your collection day. You must remove your carts by 10:00AM the day after your collection day.

Carts should be placed directly at the curb or roadway and AT LEAST three feet apart from each other or other objects (like trees, mailboxes, lamp posts and parked cars) so the mechanism on the truck can reach each cart. The cart handle should be toward your house.

If you had your carts out on time on your scheduled day and they were missed for some reason, please call 402-444-5238 after 7:00PM on your collection day.

All City of Omaha carts have a serial number and an electronic RFID tag, so the carts that were delivered to your home have been “assigned” to your address. If your cart has been lost or stolen, please call 402-444-5238. If your cart is found in another location, it can be returned to the address it was assigned to – yours! If we don’t know where it is, you will also likely be referred to the Police Department’s non-emergency number to report a minor property crime.

You are responsible for protecting (and not abusing) your carts. In the case of damage due to normal wear and tear, your cart will be repaired at no cost to you. Be smart about what you place in your cart. If, for example, you put hot coals in your cart, you will have to pay for its repair or replacement. To report a damaged cart, please call 402-444-5238.

If you have five or more family members in your home, you can be provided with an additional cart at no charge. There is a registration form for this service available at wasteline.org/mycart, or call 402-444-5238 for the form to be mailed to you. For all other situations, FCC Environmental will lease households an additional cart for a fee. The annual cost of an additional waste (remember, garbage + yardwaste = waste) cart is $91, and the annual cost of an additional recycling cart is $45.50. You must pay in advance, and the fee includes delivery. The information for leasing a cart is available at wasteline.org/mycart or by calling 402-444-5238.

Great question! The carts have been “assigned” to your address, so you simply leave them at your old home. Carts will be waiting for you at your new home — good luck with the move!

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