Blue Barrel Recycling Program

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Mesa's "NEW" Recycling Program

Due to contamination, increasing recycling processing fees and decreasing commodity values, the City of Mesa has found it necessary to  modify the Blue Barrel Recycling Program.  The list of accepted items has been reduced and simplified.   Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE: As a temporary measure to help us prepare to provide uninterrupted trash service during this time, blue recycle and green yard waste barrels may be collected by the same truck and landfilled. This temporary measure will help ensure that we have adequate staff and equipment available to service our more than 127,000 residential and commercial customers. Residents are asked to please continue to only place accepted items in the correct barrel to avoid contamination when services resume to normal operation.

Only Recycle These Items In Your Blue Barrel

*NEW*: Printable Flyer - English [PDF]

**NUEVO: Folleto Imprimible - Español [PDF]


Beverage Bottles, Jugs and Cans

  • Empty, clean and dry (lids and labels do not need to be removed)
    • Water, soda and juice bottles
    • Beer and wine bottles
    • Aluminum soda cans
    • Milk jugs
  • Easy rule to remember - If the answer is "yes" to BOTH of the following questions, it is accepted.  If the answer is "no" to either question, it is not accepted.
    • Is it a beverage?
    • Is it a bottle, jug or can?


Metal Food Cans

  • Empty, clean and dry (labels do not need to be removed)
    • Soup cans, vegetable cans, canned fruit cans, pet food cans, etc.




  • Corrugated cardboard only (has a wavy center layer)
  • Remove ALL packaging (plastic air pouches, Styrofoam, etc.)
  • Break down all boxes to maximize space in your barrel

NOTE: Cereal, tissue, cracker and other similar types of boxes are made from paperboard material and unfortunately are no longer accepted.

How can you tell if something is made from cardboard or paperboard? Tear a small piece and look at its side profile. If you see multi-layers and the center layer is wavy, it is cardboard and can be recycled in the blue barrel.



  • Only these types of paper:
    • Mail & junk mail (postcards, coupons, solicitation flyers, etc.)
    • Office paper (copy paper, envelopes, writing paper)
    • Magazines
    • Newspaper (including inserts)

NOTE: Due to the limitations of the sorting equipment used at the Materials Recovery Facility, shredded paper is no longer able to be accepted.  


All Other Items NOT Accepted

When In Doubt, Keep It Out.

We apologize but please note that the following items are NO LONGER accepted in Mesa's recycling program due to low market demand: 

  • Laundry bottles, dish washing liquid bottles, shampoo bottles, mouthwash bottles, etc.
  • Glass food jars 
  • Cereal boxes, frozen food packaging, tissue boxes, cracker boxes, detergent boxes, soda case boxes, and other paperboard items (these items are processed differently than cardboard and regular paper)
  • Milk and juice paper cartons
  • Plastic food jars & food bottles (peanut butter, jelly, mustard, ketchup, etc.)
  • Plastic berry clamshell containers
  • Yogurt containers & margarine tubs
  • Plastic and paper cups
  • Paper bags (most bags tend to be greasy fast food bags or contain non-recyclable items such as handles)
  • Aluminum pie plates and aluminum foil

RECYCLING REMINDER: Due to the number of barrels that need to be serviced by the collection truck, items left on top or around the container will not be picked up.

The blue recycle barrel is collected curbside on a weekly basis, including all holidays.  Items placed into the blue barrel should not be bagged but they should be clean, dry and empty.  Lids and labels do not need to be removed.  Barrels should be placed in the gutter by 6 a.m. on designated collection day and removed no later than 6 a.m. the following day.   Barrel Collection Schedule Map (PDF)


Picture of girl placing recyclables into blue barrelIn-home recycling containers are available to Mesa residential solid waste customers at no additional charge.  This 28-qt. container conveniently fits under the kitchen sink.  Residents may stop by the Solid Waste Management Department, 730 N. Mesa Dr., to pick one up.  Limit one container per household.

More Information:

What size of blue barrel do I have?

  • 60-gallon size: 40"h x 27"w x 28"d
  • 90-gallon size: 45"h x 28"w x 34"d

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