Recycle Collection Program

Why Should I Recycle?

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill and transforming these materials into new products. Recycling is important because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserves valuable natural resources such as timber and minerals, prevents pollution and saves energy by reducing the need to collect new raw materials, helps create domestic jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries, and provides many other community and environmental benefits. 

Proper sorting makes a difference! When we recycle the right things the right way, we help our economy and the environment by ensuring quality recyclables can be recovered and delivered back into the economy instead of sent to landfills.

What is Single-Stream Recycling?

Single-stream recycling allows you to place all your clean and dry recyclable materials—plastic, glass and metal food and beverage containers, mixed paper, and cardboard—into the recycle cart.

Can I Request a Different-Sized Cart?

You may request a smaller (35-gallon) or larger (96-gallon) recycle cart at no additional charge or get assistance with any of your recycle service-related questions or requests by contacting Tri-CED Community Recycling.

What Materials are Accepted in my Recycle Cart? 

UC Recycle Poster 2022 FINAL - ENG Opens in new windowAcceptable items include:

  • Paper and paper products (clean and dry)
    • Magazines
    • Newspaper, including inserts, coupons, and store ads
    • Printing/writing paper
    • Junk mail
    • Catalogs and phone books
    • Shredded paper (sealed in a paper bag)
    • Cardboard (flattened)
    • Paper boxes (e.g., shoe and cereal boxes)
    • Paper egg cartons
    • Paper bags
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, trays, and tubs labeled #1-2 (clean and empty)
  • Glass bottles and jars (clean and empty) 
  • Aluminum and metal
    • Food and beverage cans (clean and empty) 
    • Foil and scrap metal pieces (clean)

Proper sorting makes a difference! Avoid contamination by keeping recyclables clean, dry, empty, and loose. Rinse/wipe food residue and empty liquids from your plastic, glass, and aluminum containers. Do not bag recyclables.

What Materials are Prohibited in My Recycle Cart?

Compostable and landfill materials may not be disposed of in your recycle cart as per California’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24. Compostable and landfill materials must be sorted and placed in the appropriate cart.  

  • Plastic bags, film, and wrap
  • Plastic utensils
  • Snack packaging (e.g., chip bags and candy wrappers)
  • Aseptic mulit-layered containers (e.g.,  juice, soup, and dairy cartons and pouches)
  • Styrofoam products (e.g., cups, plates, meat/seafood trays, packing peanuts, and blocks)
  • Grease/food-soiled paper and paper products (place in the compost cart)
  • Food scraps (place in the compost cart)
  • Yard trimmings (place in the compost cart)
  • Mirrors
  • Ceramics
  • Hoses
  • Plastic or wire clothes hangers
  • Personal hygiene items (e.g., diapers, sanitary napkins, disposable gloves/masks)
  • Pet waste
  • Carpets, rugs, and mats (if these cannot be donated)
  • Shoes, clothing, and toys (if these cannot be donated)
  • Dirt, rock, asphalt, concrete, brick, and construction and demolition debris

It is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) such as chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers, paint, pesticides, propane tanks, sharps, and electronic waste in your curbside collection carts. HHW materials require careful disposal by a certified facility. Safely dispose of HHW for free at an Alameda County HHW Drop-off Facility or at County-sponsored events throughout the year. For drop-off facility locations, hours, and a list of accepted items, call 800.606.6606 or visit

How Can I Become a Better Recycler?

Follow these simple guidelines to ensure recyclable materials can be recycled into their highest and best use. We thank you for your efforts!

  1. Know what is accepted in Union City’s curbside collection program. Only place acceptable items in the recycle cart. Accepted materials include clean paper and cardboard, metal containers, and plastic bottles and jugs labeled #1-2.
  2. Keep recyclables empty, clean, and dry (i.e., free of food and liquid).  Rinse/wipe food residue and empty liquids from recyclable items.
  3. Keep recyclables loose when placing them in the recycle cart. Do not bag recyclables in plastic bags. To secure shredded paper, use a paper bag and staple this bag shut before placing the paper bag in the recycle cart.

For additional options to reuse, repair, recycle or safely dispose of unwanted items, search StopWaste' online RE:Source Guide.

More Information?

When in doubt, find out: Residential Publications & Resources