Recycling

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Recycling is important. And in Round Rock, we make it easy. 
We offer a variety of services to make it easy to Recycle Round the Rock!

While recycling is the right thing to do, if it isn’t done right, it can be very problematic. Here are a few simple tips:

  • Recycle it ONLY if it is recyclable. Verify below or send an email to Is it Recyclable. Misplaced items cause contamination, and the materials have to be sent to the landfill.
  • Detach, unlike materials. Remove metal lids from glass jars, plastic liners from cereal boxes, foil from yogurt tubs, etc. Although recyclable, the recycling process is different for each material and when attached, the materials cannot be separated properly at the recycling facility.
  • Remove food, sauces, and juices. Rinse aluminum, plastic, and glass. It helps prevent contamination and odors and less likely to attract bugs to your cart.
  • Save space. Crush cans and plastic bottles and flatten boxes. Do not break glass as it jams equipment.
  • Plastic bags and broken glass are among the most problematic materials for recycling facilities. Plastic bags wrap around conveyor lines, and all work must stop while the bags are cut off. Broken glass jams equipment and mixes with other materials, resulting in recyclables being categorized as contaminated and sent to the landfill.

Curbside Recycling

  • Recycling is collected every other week.
  • Collection occurs 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. If services are not performed by 6:30 p.m., please contact Round Rock Refuse.
  • Carts may be curbside starting at 7 a.m. the day before collection and removed by 7 p.m. the day after.
  • Position carts with wheels against the curb.

Accepted Curbside

  • Aluminum foil
  • Beverage cans and caps
  • Foil baking tins
  • Pet food cans
  • Soup and vegetable cans
 
  • Beverage packaging
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Packaging (toys, electronics…)
  • Food boxes (cereal, pasta, frozen food…)
  • Gift, shoe boxes
  • Paper tubes (paper towels, toilet paper tubes…)
  • Shipping, moving boxes

  • No pizza boxes
  • No wax-coated cartons 
  • No Styrofoam
  • Cooking oil bottles
  • Mason jars (remove lid)
  • Pasta sauce jars (remove lid)
  • Soda and juice bottles
  • Wine, beer, liquor, and spirits bottles
  • Other clear, green, blue, or brown jars and bottles

  • No broken glass
  • No window glass
  • No light bulbs
  • No dining ware, ceramics, Pyrex, etc.
  • Brochures, flyers
  • Catalogs, magazines
  • Junk mail, letters, envelopes
  • Office paper, folders
  • Paper bags
  • Newspaper
  • Telephone books

  • No laminated paper
  • No shredded paper (Shred for a Paws Cause)
  • No food-contaminated items (paper plates, etc.)
  • Beverage bottles (water, soda, etc.)
  • Butter, cream cheese, yogurt tubs (remove foil liner)
  • Cooking oil bottles
  • Detergent, cleaning bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Plastic lids

  • No plastic bags (Please take to your local grocer or reuse at home)

Not Accepted Curbside

Why Not?! Many recyclables are taken to the landfill when they could have been recycled and served a whole new purpose.

Everything you throw in the trash is taken to the landfill – a hole in the earth that is filled with trash, a burial ground for any and everything dumped in it. It’s the end of the road for many things that could have been reused or recycled into something else, instead they slowly decompose, or rot, into the earth’s soil. Landfills have composite liners; however, they eventually leak and their toxic leachate, or garbage juice, can seep into and contaminate soil and groundwater supplies.

How long does it take to decompose?

  • Aluminum can, 80-200 years
  • Disposable diapers, 450 years
  • Foam cup, 50 years
  • Glass bottle, 1 million years
  • Newspaper, 6 weeks
  • Nylon fabric, 30-40 years
  • Paper towel, 2-4 weeks
  • Plastic bag, 10-20 years
  • Plastic bottles, 450 years
  • Plywood, 1-3 years
  • Styrofoam, Never
  • Tires, 50-80 years
  • Tin can, 50 years
  • Waxed milk carton, 3 months

Paper and cardboard come from trees, plastics from oil, metals from rocks (ores), and glass from sand. Recycling means that we don’t have to chop down, extract, or mine to collect more raw materials for making the things we use every day.

Savings from one ton of recycled…

Aluminum: 40 barrels of oil, 4 tons of bauxite ore, 10 cubic yards of landfill space, and uses 95% less energy.
Paper:  17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and uses 50-60% less energy.
Plastic:  16.3 barrels of oil, 30 cubic yards of landfill space, and uses 90% less energy.

Glass: over a ton of raw materials, 5 gallons of oil, 2 cubic yards of landfill space, and uses 30% less energy.

Recycling conserves our natural resources and uses significantly less energy, which results in less burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours!

Two gallons of recycled motor oil can power an average home for one day, cook 48 meals in a microwave oven, blow dry a person’s hair at least 216 times, or power a television for more than seven days straight!

Recycled glass creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than glass made from raw materials!

Recycled cardboard creates 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution!

Manufacturing recycled material generates less air and water pollution than using raw materials. Recycling reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons, that contribute to global climate change.

It not only costs money to take waste to the landfill but when it could have been recycled (80% of landfill waste) we throw away products that still have a purpose; therefore, they still have value. Furthermore, additional money, resources, and energy are required to extract, manufacture, and transport more raw materials. All the environmental benefits, such as reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, have economic value as well.

  • Curbside – most items can go in your green recycling cart.
  • Recycling Center – drop off non-Freon appliances, automotive products, propane tanks, and more.
  • Shred for a Paws Cause – safely recycle confidential documents, hard drives, CDs, and more. Items are shredded and recycled offsite.
  • HHW Collection Events – dispose of paint, fertilizers, cleaners, and other common household chemicals.

Recycling makes a big impact; however, you make the most difference by first reducing the amount of waste you generate, then reusing what you have, and lastly recycling what’s left.

When you reduce the amount of waste you generate, less new products have to be made. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy – raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated then transported to wherever it will be sold. Learn more facts on why you should reduce, reuse, and recycle.

How to Reduce Waste:
    • Precycle. Purchase products in packaging that can be recycled or is biodegradable.
    • Use reusable bags. Recycle used plastic bags at a nearby grocery store.
    • No Styrofoam! It is not recyclable and does not breakdown in the landfill.
    • Avoid single-serve containers.
    • Bring your own utensils and cup to work instead of using disposable items.
    • Drink tap water instead of bottled water. It’s safe, cheaper, and tastes great!
    • Say NO to junk mail. Easily cancel unwanted catalogs at catalogchoice.org.
    • Go paperless. Most information can be obtained (and paid for) online.
    • Only buy what you need and use all of what you buy.

Reusing gives old products new life with little or no energy used for repurposing. Recycling requires less energy than making new products; however, it still requires substantial energy. Learn more facts on why you should reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Reuse Ideas:

  • Buy and sell used. Thrift stores and online apps are increasingly popular for used furniture, toys, etc.
  • Donate unwanted items to thrift stores, churches, and schools.
  • Borrow, rent or share items used infrequently i.e. party décor, tools, etc.
  • Refurbish or re-purpose furniture.
  • Check for Free Re-Usable Products including paint, fertilizers, cleaning products, and more.
  • If it’s broke, fix it… or take it to someone who can.
  • Use reusable over disposable whenever possible – dishes, bags, etc.

Recycling creates a closed-loop system where unwanted products go back to manufacturers for use in new products. Much more can be recycled curbside and at the City’s Recycling Center than what is being recycled! 

Recycling Tips:

  • Remove food, sauces, and juices from recyclables.
  • Save space – flatten boxes, crush cans, and plastic bottles. Do not break glass as it jams equipment.
  • Detach unlike materials. Separate metal lids from glass jars, liners from cereal boxes, foil from yogurt tubs, etc. Although recyclable, facility equipment cannot properly separate the materials, therefore they are considered contaminated and are taken to the landfill. 
  • Recycle it, if it’s recyclable. If you aren’t sure, check the items accepted curbside and at the Recycling Center or send an email to Is it Recyclable?.
  • The recycling facility and the landfill both have disposal fees. When non-recyclable items are placed in the recycling cart, they have to be transported from the recycling facility to the landfill, resulting in two costly disposal fees.

What Recyclables Can Become

Just about anything in your home, office, or school that cannot be reused CAN be recycled into something else and used for many years. Today a plastic bottle may contain juice or soda… but what it can become after you use it may surprise you!

Aluminum foil, baking trays, cans, bottle caps and more can be recycled over and over without losing its quality or strength. Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials on the market today! However, nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum is thrown away every year in the US.

What can they become?
  • Appliances
  • Bicycles
  • Airplane parts
  • Automotive parts
  • Building parts
  • Rebar
  • Wire and tubing
  • New cans and more
Rinse off food, sauces, and juices – washing isn’t necessary. Often items aren’t processed immediately at the recycling facility, so this helps prevent odors, mold, and rodents, which cause contamination.

The best way to recycle cardboard is to re-use or re-purpose it. Boxes are great for storage, packing groceries, or arts and crafts activities – endless possibilities for children – magic castles, pretend cars, fortresses, and whatever else their imagination has in store.

What can they become?
  • Paper
  • Paper bags
  • Sound-proofing material
  • Insulation
  • Paperboard
  • New cardboard and more
Keep cardboard recycling clean of food scraps, polystyrene, and plastic, which can contaminate the recycling process. Cardboard can be recycled up to 5 times, after which point it can still be used as compost or animal bedding.

Like aluminum, glass can be repeatedly recycled without losing its quality or strength. Glass is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials – great for recycling but not for the landfill. It’s estimated that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment.

What can they become?
  • Countertops
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Flooring
  • Bricks
  • Highway marking beads
  • Landscaping stones
  • New bottles, jars and more
Fortunately, almost all glass containers are produced using some recycled material. In fact, green glass bottles generally contain about 70% recycled material! However, only 33% of post-consumer glass is currently being recycled in the US, so a lot more needs to be done to prevent glass from piling up in landfills.

Office paper, paperboard, magazines, newspaper, junk mail, and more can be recycled in your green recycling cart. Shredded paper cannot be recycled at the curb, however you can have your confidential documents shredded and recycled during the City’s semi-annual Shred for a Paws Cause.

What can they become?
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Toilet paper and tissues
  • Greeting cards
  • Egg cartons
  • Sheetrock
  • Kitty litter
  • Books
  • New paper, paperboard and more
Paper waste accounts for 40% of all waste in the US, and paper production contributes significantly to deforestation, as well as air, water, and land pollution. Avoid getting paper wet, as this significantly reduces the recycling market. Empty your cans, bottles, etc. before tossing them in the recycling cart so they don’t drain on your paper.

Milk Jugs & Other Plastic Containers – Bottles and containers used for milk, shampoo, laundry detergent, and household cleaners are lightweight and tough – but they usually are made from a different type of plastic than beverage bottles.

What can they become?
  • Playground equipment
  • Plastic lumber
  • Picnic tables
  • Lawn furniture
  • Recycling bins
  • New bottles, containers and more

Plastic Bags, Films, and Wraps – Although these are not accepted at the curb – dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, and wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, diapers, and more can be recycled at many grocery and retail stores.

What can they become?
  • Plastic lumber
  • Backyard decks
  • Park benches
  • Fences
  • Playground equipment
  • New plastic bags and more

Beverage Bottles – Plastic bottles used for soft drinks, juice, and water are convenient when you’re out and about… but a recycling bin may not be. Resist the temptation to toss it in the trash, there are so many new things it can become!

What can they become?
  • T-shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Fleece jackets
  • Insulation for jackets and sleeping bags
  • Carpeting
  • New bottles and more

Plastic Bottle Caps – Even though they’re made with a different type of plastic than the bottles, the caps should be put back on bottles before you toss them in recycling bins.

What can they become?
  • Car batteries
  • Garden rakes
  • Storage containers
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Brooms
  • Yarn and ropes
  • New bottle caps and more

Commercial Recycling

The following information is provided by the City of Round Rock to assist commercial residents in their recycling efforts. The City of Round Rock assumes no responsibility for the individuals and/or organizations listed and makes no recommendations or approvals.

Non-Hazardous Materials Recycling and Solid Waste Management

Wilco Recycling
www.wilcorecycling.com
(888) 409-2092

Central Texas Refuse
www.centraltexasrefuse.com
(512) 243-2833 or (800) 664-2833

Central Waste and Recycling
www.centralwasteinc.com
(512) 267-9290

Texas Disposal Systems
www.texasdisposal.com
(800) 375-8375

Progressive Waste Solutions Austin 
www.progressivewaste.com
(512) 670-2900

Waste Management / Longhorn Disposal
www.wm.com
(800) 800-5804

Used Motor Oil, Commercial

Fuel Blenders – (512) 365-1920
H&H Waste Oil – (512) 990-1823
Midstate Oil – (866) 387-2171

Tire Recycling

Lakin Tire West of Colorado
510 E. 51st Ave.
Denver, CO 80216
Tel: (800) 488-2752
https://lakintire.com/scrap-tire-collection/

Contact Information

Round Rock Refuse: 512-255-4980 or email; City of Round Rock: 512-218-5554 or email

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