Residential Recycling - NEW! Mixed Recycling Program

 Welcome to Mixed Recycling!

 Recyclable materials Rochester’s residential recycling program is a quarter of a century old! We are working to make recycling easier and more convenient with the introduction of Mixed Recycling.

Mixed Recycling means paper can be mixed with metal, glass and plastic so all recyclable materials can conveniently be placed together in one large container. The City of Rochester’s Mixed Recycling program provides a new 96-gallon blue recycling container to residents that have been participating in recycling using the blue box.

Recyclable materials

    Click here for the list of acceptable materials.

Mixed Recycling on an EVERY OTHER WEEK collection schedule is coming to you

Collection Day Map 

Since the new 96 gallon blue container holds eight times the volume of the old 12 gallon box, it only needs to be set out for collection every other week. Your collection day stays the same.

Click here for your recycling collection schedule.

Refuse collection will remain unchanged and continue on a weekly basis on your scheduled collection day. Remember: Refuse collection every week, recycling every other week. Your collection day stays the same.

Recyclables should be at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day. 


On scheduled holidays, refuse and recycling collection will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week when the fall on a weekday. Monday routes will be picked up on Tuesday, etc.

There will be no refuse or recycling collection on the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Mixed Recycling on CityWise

Benefits of Mixed Recycling

Better for residents

  • The new program is designed to make recycling easier and more customer-friendly for YOU, the customer. No bending, lifting or handling multiple containers.
  • A large, blue 96-gallon wheeled container with a lid will be provided to each recycling participant. All recyclable materials can be placed in the new container, without the need to sort.
  • The new container holds eight times the volume of the old recycling box.
  • The increased capacity of the new container will allow you to recycle additional materials such as large cardboard boxes (please flatten).

Better for the environment

  • The new container has a weather-proof lid that will keep recyclables clean and dry and prevent wind from blowing materials around, creating litter.
  • The new container will be serviced by an automated truck that compacts the load for more efficient service.
  • Improved convenience is intended to increase participation, keeping recyclable material out of the refuse stream.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from less vehicle miles traveled by the fleet.

Learn about the pilot program


 Truck with arm picks up recycling container January 2015-November 2016

 The pilot program provided a new 96 gallon recycling container to the recycling participants in the Pilot area to determine if using the container benefits our customers and the environment. Pilot routes were chosen to reflect the unique characteristics of the city, including varied street types, assorted housing types (single family and multi-family) and diverse demographics. We chose a total of ten routes, two routes each weekday, to receive the new container and help evaluate the program. Download the full report of program findings here.

Lessons learned

 Truck with arm picks up recycling container 
  • The 96-gallon blue recycling container is effective. More material was collected using the container compared to the old recycling boxes.
  • More materials are being diverted from the landfill.
  • The container has more room for bulky items like flattened cardboard boxes, and is large enough to hold two weeks’ worth of materials.
  • The container eliminates the need to sort recyclables, bend and lift, or carry old boxes out to the curb each week.
  • We saw more city residents show an increased interest in recycling.


How will I know if I have converted to every other week recycling collection?

 Residential recycling participants will be converted to every other week recycling collection in phases from Fall 2016 through Spring 2017.

When you receive a new 96 gallon, blue recycling container you will convert to every other week recycling collection. You will receive mail and door hanger information including a calendar of your every other week recycling collection schedule and a reminder about when your every other week recycling collection begins.

To find out when your street will be converted to every other week recycling collection, click here. Until then, continue to place recycling boxes at the curb every week.

When will I get my new container?

Recycling participants will receive containers in phases from Fall 2016 through Spring 2017. Once participants receive a container, they will be converted to every other week recycling collection. Click here to find out when you will convert to every other week recycling collection.

What if I don’t receive a new 96 gallon container?

If your street has converted to every other week recycling collection, and you didn’t receive a new container, you can request a new recycling container online or by calling 311 (outside city limits, (585) 428-5990).

I was in the pilot program – will anything change for me?

No. Recycling service for those in the pilot program will remain unchanged. Recycling collection will continue as scheduled on an every other week basis.

What does “participants” mean?

“Participants” are households that were already recycling using the boxes. If you would like to start recycling with the new container, call 311 to request one.

How does the City prevent contamination in the recyclable waste stream?

Customer education is the best way to prevent contamination of recyclables. People who recycle want to make sure the recycling program is successful!

Also, the City will be monitoring container contents and will address contamination issues.

What happens if the new container is misused?

We understand that people make mistakes, so we start with an “oops” letter to let the customer know there was an issue and remind them of what recyclable materials can be placed in the container. City staff visit customers and neighborhoods to provide education and support.

After 3 contamination notifications, the container may be removed for non-compliance.

What happens to the old recycle boxes?

You can use it to store recyclables in your house or garage and transfer the items to your container later. If you don’t want the recycling box, call 311 to get it picked up.

Where do my recyclables go after collection?

  Recyclable material is then taken to the Monroe County Recycling Center, which is equipped to accept and sort mixed recycling.

 Recycling truck service at curb Questions?

If you have questions, call 311 (outside city limits, (585) 428-5990). Staff from the mixed recycling program project team will follow up with you.