Iowa City accepts a variety of materials through its recycling programs, and collects items through community drop-off locations and curbside pickup.

Recycling Updates:

Browse the options below to learn more about the City of Iowa City's recycling programs. 

Curbside Recycling

Learn which materials are accepted in curbside recycling, and how to participate.

Drop off Recycling Locations

View information on the four recycling drop-off locations in Iowa City and Coralville.

Apartment and Business Recycling

Live in an apartment? Learn about requirements for apartment recycling.


Curbside Recycling 

Curbside recycling is single stream in Iowa City, meaning residents do not need to sort materials. All accepted materials can be placed in the same container. Watch the video below for more information on single stream recycling in Iowa City.

View the Curbside Recycling Guide for information about materials that are accepted as part of Iowa City's curbside recycling program.

Materials not accepted in curbside recycling:
  • Glass (take to recycling drop-off locations)
  • Plastic bags (take to participating grocery stores), plastic wrap or film
  • Styrofoam (#6 plastics)
  • Shredded paper (take to recycling drop-off location or compost it)
  • Yard or food waste (compost it)
  • Motor oil or fertilizer bottles
  • Clothing, shoes, toys
  • Hardcover books
  • Photographs
  • Metallic or glitter-coated paper
  • Napkins, paper cups, paper plates (compost non-coated paper cups, plates, and napkins)

Iowa City municipal curbside collection is available to single-family residences up to four-unit buildings. Multi-family residences that are five-unit and larger are not served by Iowa City curbside collection, but recycling services are now required to be provided by apartment owners and managers in Iowa City.


New Recycling Carts

The City of Iowa City is rolling out new recycling carts to curbside customers in December. 

Some of your neighbors may already have 65-gallon recycling carts. The City will be delivering carts to all remaining households that receive curbside service Dec. 10-22, 2018.  

Customers do not need to reserve, order, or pick up a cart. They will be delivered along with important program information.

The new carts are similar to trash carts, but feature a blue lid. When full, place them at the curb by 7 a.m. on your regular collection day, leaving four feet between carts to allow for the truck's mechanical arm to empty the container. For more tips on how to use curbside service, see this video.

Customers who do not receive a cart by the end of December are asked to call 319-356-5151. To receive curbside service notices and updates about cart distribution, sign-up at icgov.org/subscribe.


Old Bins

Residents are welcome to keep and re-purpose their older blue 18-gallon recycling bins, but the City will also collect and recycle unwanted bins.

Crews will collect old bins curbside on your regular service day the weeks of:

There will also be drop-off events (at the Public Works Complex, 3800 Napoleon Lane, Iowa City):


Organics (Yard and Food Waste) Carts  
organics curbside cart

New organics carts will also be available to customers to use for yard and food waste curbside collection.

The City recently received a shipment of 25 and 95-gallon organics carts (with yellow lid) and will begin distributing them to customers who have previously requested them.

The City has reopened online requests for 95-gallon carts. Fill out the online form at icgov.org/organics or call 319-356-5151. Carts will be delivered based on availability and staff time. Waits will vary. 

Smaller 25-gallon carts will again be available for pick-up next spring. No sign up needed. More details to come.

To learn more about the City's food and yard waste program, visit icgov.org/organics


Drop-off Recycling Locations 

Below is a list of the recycling drop-off sites in Iowa City and Coralville. 

East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE 

  • Cardboard: please flatten
  • Paper: newspapers, magazines, shredded paper, office paper, junk mail, paperboard, telephone books, paperback books, waxy cartons and aseptic packaging
  • Glass: clear, brown, green
  • Plastics: #1 through #5, and #7
  • Metal: metal cans, aluminum pie pans, aluminum foil (in 2-inch ball)
  • Holiday lights: accepted at ReStore’s donation area behind the building
  • Wine Corks: place corks in cork recycling bin in Oil Recycling Shed

Plastic bags are no longer accepted for recycling. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2HaLdfu

1201 North Dodge St.

Formerly Hy-Vee, open 24 hours

  • Cardboard: please flatten
  • Paper: newspapers, magazines, shredded paper, office paper, junk mail, paperboard, telephone books, paperback books, waxy cartons and aseptic packaging
  • Glass: clear, brown, green
  • Plastics: #1 through #5, and #7
  • Metal: metal cans, aluminum pie pans, aluminum foil (in 2-inch ball)

Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, 3900 Hebl Ave. SW

Open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday

  • Cardboard: please flatten
  • Paper: newspapers, magazines, shredded paper, office paper, junk mail, paperboard, telephone books, paperback books, waxy cartons and aseptic packaging
  • Glass: clear, brown, green
  • Plastics: #1 through #5, and #7
  • Metal cans, foil, pie pans: metal cans, aluminum pie pans, aluminum foil (in 2-inch ball)
  • Scrap metal: iron, steel, aluminum, brass, copper
  • Holiday lights: accepted in electronic waste recycling program

Coralville Recycling Center, 950 Hughes St.

Open 24 hours

  • Paper and Cardboard: newspapers, magazines, mixed paper, office paper, junk mail, paperboard, telephone books, paperback books, corrugated cardboard
  • Plastics: #1 through #5 and #7 plastics
  • Metal: metal cans, aluminum pie pans, aluminum foil (in 1-inch ball)

Visit the City of Coralville website for more information.

Iowa City Area Resale and Consignment Directory

If you need stuff or are looking for a way to get rid of stuff, check out the secondhand and consignment store opportunities in the Iowa City Area Resale and Consignment Directory to buy, donate, or sell gently-used items.

Questions? Contact Resource Management at 319-356-5151.


Apartment and Business Recycling

Apartments, condominiums, non-profit organizations, and businesses that do not receive City curbside services can hire local haulers to provide recycling services at their facilities.

In 2016, the Iowa City City Council passed a resolution that requires all multi-family apartments and condominiums to provide recycling for their tenants. The mandate is now in effect, and enforcement is through rental permits.

In order for landlords and property managers of dwellings in excess of four units to renew future rental permits, they must have recycling available to their tenants. Staff is aware that exceptions may be necessary for a small number of properties that cannot comply with the proposed code due to lack of space.

Apartment Recycling Pilot Program 

In 2012, the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center implemented a pilot recycling program for multi-family apartments and condominiums in Iowa City. A Best Management Practices Manual was developed to offer recommendations for apartment and condo recycling. Iowa City's Single Stream Recycling Guide is also available to help educate tenants about accepted materials.

Questions? Contact Housing Inspection Services at 319-356-5135 or the Recycling Coordinator at 319-887-6110 or jane-wilch@iowa-city.org.


Questions? Contact the Recycling Coordinator at 319-887-6110 or jane-wilch@iowa-city.org

Sign up for curbside service notices at icgov.org/subscribe. Follow us on Facebook at City of Iowa City Recycling.