Downtown Tampa View

City of Tampa Announces New Recycling Contract

This information is 1 year 9 months old and may no longer be accurate.

The City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management’s agreement with Waste Management Recycle America was approved by Tampa City Council on July 23, 2020.  The one-year contract becomes effective on August 1, 2020, and enables the City to continue its curbside residential and commercial recycling programs.

Globally, the recycling industry has seen an astronomical shift with China’s National Sword policy. Sadly, some cities have eliminated their recycling programs due to rising contamination, escalating contract costs, and a lack of end processors. “Tampa is committed to protecting our program. My department conducted extensive research in our local, regional, and national marketplaces, advertised two bids for recycling materials processing, and conducted several hours of negotiations to acquire a contract that will allow us to continue providing curbside recycling service to our customers. We will keep our finger on the pulse of the recycling market and continue to posture our program to sustain success as part of Mayor Jane Castor’s commitment to sustainability & resilience as we transform Tampa’s tomorrow.” said Department Director, Mark Wilfalk.

Curbside, drop-off, and commercial recycling accepted items are as follows:

  • Plastic bottles and jugs only; empty, with no caps.
  • Glass bottles and jars only; empty with no caps or lids.
  • Fiber - Cardboard, paperboard, and paper; flattened boxes with no packaging, unlined paperboard items only, and no shredded or photo paper. 
  • Metal – food/drink cans and bottles; empty with no caps, no reusable containers. 

Any item not listed above is not recyclable through the City’s program. Our contract with Waste Management Recycle America only allows for 20% or less contamination (non-accepted items). The City’s current contamination rate is 36%, meaning only 64% of what Tampa residents place in the recycling is actually recyclable. Placing contamination in with recyclables forces the entire load to be treated as trash. Recycling right and reducing your overall waste generation is key to ensuring Tampa’s continued recycling programs.

For more information on recycling rules and guidelines, please visit NOTE: New Tampa residents are encouraged to contact Hillsborough County Solid Waste Management at (813) 272-5680 for their holiday collection schedule.