recycling in alexandria

Recycling in Alexandria

April 11, 2021 | Inside Alexandria | By: The Goodhart Group

New to Alexandria? If you’re not sure what the City of Alexandria accepts as recycling, keep this list handy:

  • mixed and shredded paper;
  • clean, unwaxed cardboard;
  • gable top cartons and juice containers;
  • glass bottles and jars (excluding window and drinking glasses); and
  • ALL plastic bottles, jugs, jars, tubs, pails, buckets, and lids (no need to check the number on the bottom!)
  • metal food and beverage containers.


Did you know that Alexandria has several innovative recycling initiatives?

  • The City uses its trash as fuel to generate electricity. A year’s worth of Alexandria trash generates enough electricity for 20,000 homes!
  • The Residential Food Waste Collection Program allows locals to bring their food waste to any weekend Farmer’s Market in the City. The City then brings it to a facility in Maryland for composting.
  • Alexandria has a dropoff for Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling on Colvin Street. Click here for a list of what you can recycle there.


Effective January 15, 2020, City residents must bring glass containers to one of the region’s “purple bin” drop-off locations to ensure the glass will be recycled. This change comes as a result of rising recycling costs, contamination, and the lack of a regional glass sorting facility.  You can find your drop-off nearest location here.


The national recycling rate has declined slightly since 2017 and now stands at 32%. Only half of Americans have automatic access to curbside recycling, some who have access do not participate, and not all who participate do so fully ( The good news is that the local recycling rate is much higher. The City of Alexandria estimates its recycling rate at 49% (2016 data). 


Live outside of Alexandria? For recycling information throughout the area, click the links below.

Fairfax County

Arlington County

Washington, DC

Prince George’s County

Montgomery County

If you are not sure where to recycle your old cellphone, electronics or TV? Check out this recycling locator for a location near you.

If you have questions about other services in your neighborhood, please reach out. We are always happy to help!

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**recycling photo from: