How Do I Get A Curbside Recycling Bin?

How do I get a curbside recycling bin? How to find out if your city has a curbside recycling program. It depends on where you live, says Gerry Acuna, the president of Tri Recycling Inc., who has been involved...

It depends on where you live, says Gerry Acuna, the president of Tri Recycling Inc., who has been involved in recycling for 12 years.

"Every city is different. Here in Austin, Texas, curbside recycling is handled by the City of Austin and they do a phenomenal job. Anytime you set up garbage service with them, you get not only the trash can itself, you also get a 13 gallon recycling container that is provided and delivered by the City of Austin."

Their curbside recycling program is ideal, according to Acuna.

"When you call the city and say you need garbage service, they ask you whether you'll need a big container, a medium sized container or a small container. It's relative to how much garbage you are going to generate and how much recycling you're going to be doing."

And the more you conserve, the less you spend, which ultimately leads to greater participation in recycling.
Acuna explains, "The cost of your garbage service depends on the size of the trash container, so the more you can recycle the cheaper that service will be. You can recycle as much as you want and there is no charge for that. You're only charged for the garbage that you generate."

In some areas, there are even laws and regulations that enforce recycling in metropolitan areas.

"The City of Austin mandates recycling," says Acuna. "When I say mandate, I mean we have a multifamily and commercial recycling ordinance here in the City of Austin and that ordinance mainly pertains to commercial office buildings and to apartment/condo/town home properties. It says that any town home/apartment/condo property that has more than 100 units must provide a recycling program."

This program sets a great example for other cities. By implementing regulations like this, recycling becomes habit for most participants.

The guidelines apply to a large amount of businesses in Austin, according to Acuna.

"As far as the commercial and the office buildings, any multi-tenant office building or any single company that has over 100 employees must provide an onsite recycling program for their employees."

But this advocacy is unique, at least in Texas.
Acuna says, "I don't know of any other city in Texas with a similar program. However there are numerous programs throughout the country which have similar requirements, in fact some are much more stringent than the City of Austin."

Other cities with notable curbside bin recycling programs include Arlington, Va., Kansas City, Mo., Seattle, Wash. and Ann Arbor, Mich.

If you're unsure if the community you live in participates in curbside bin recycling, start with your local city or town's website. Most programs exist within waste management companies and those should be linked to the official page if they participate.

If your local website doesn't provide that information, try using one of the links provided on all-encompassing websites such as the National Recycling Coalition at or the Environmental Protection Agency at They are filled with information about specific areas of the country and alternative options for recycling if your community doesn't currently participate.

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