Blue Barrel Recycling Program

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Due to increasing recycling processing fees and decreasing commodity values, the City of Mesa has found it necessary to reevaluate its entire recycling program.  While Mesa's Blue Barrel Program will continue to operate, changes will be coming in October regarding the list of accepted items.  Please check back later for more information.

RECYCLING REMINDER: To maximize use of space, please break down all cardboard boxes before placing them in your recycle barrel.  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 relatively 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.  Additional or larger size blue barrels are available at no additional charge.  For more information, please call Customer Service at 480-644-2221. Barrel Collection Schedule Map (PDF)

Items accepted in Mesa's Blue Barrel Program

Printable Flyer - English (PDF)

Folleto Imprimible - Español (PDF)



  • Paper
    • Junk mail, paper bags, computer & writing paper
    • Magazines, catalogs, telephone books and newspapers (include inserts)
    • What about shredded paper?


  • Cardboard
    • Packing boxes (please remove packing material)


  •  Paperboard
    • Milk, juice & ice cream cartons
    • Frozen dinner boxes
    • Soda boxes
    • Facial tissue boxes, cereal, detergent, shoe boxes & other packaging containers (please remove plastic liners; they are not accepted in Mesa's recycling program)



  • Cups & containers - Plastic bottles, jugs and jars (milk, peanut butter, soda, water, mustard, shampoo, mouthwash, medicine, lotion, detergent, bleach,etc.)
    • Plastic bottle caps are accepted in Mesa's program
    • Disposable plastic cups
    • Yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine & whipped topping containers
    •  "Clamshell" food containers (e.g.- berry containers, baked goods, etc.)
    • NO Styrofoam, plastic bags or plastic wrap
  • Styrofoam is a #6 plastic so why can't I recycle it?
    • Number 6 plastic is made from polystyrene material.  Polystyrene can be made into both rigid and foam products - in the latter case it is popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam.  Examples of #6 rigid plastics would be CD cases and aspirin bottles, both of which are accepted in Mesa's blue barrel.  Styrofoam products, such as insulated soda cups, are not accepted in Mesa's blue barrel because there is no current buyer for the material.



  • Bottles & jars containing a food or beverage when purchased
    • Juice, soda, beer & wine bottles, etc.
    • Baby food, mayonnaise, pickle & jelly jars, etc.



  • Metal cans containing a food or beverage when purchased
    • Soda & beer cans
    • Aluminum foil products (foil wrap, pie plates, etc.)
    • Whipped cream & cooking spray cans
    • Coffee cans
    • Vegetable, soup, tuna, & pet food cans, etc.

Items not accepted in Mesa's Blue Barrel Program

  • Air-conditioning filters
  • Appliances
  • Batteries
  • Bagged recyclables
  • Candy wrappers
  • Carpet or rugs
  • Ceramics
  • Clothes hangers, scrap metal, automotive parts
  • Clothing, cloth or rags
  • Diapers
  • Dinnerware (glass or plastic)
  • Dog food bags
  • Electrical cords (light strands, extension cords, etc.)
  • Electronics
  • Fast food items (food, wrappers, or greasy bags)
  • Gift wrap
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Hazardous material
  • Hoses and cords
  • Inserts from paperboard boxes (plastic bags/trays)
  • Light bulbs, ceramics or window glass
  • Linens
  • Mirrors
  • Motor-oil containers
  • Packing materials (styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic air pillows)
  • Paper cups
  • Paper towels, napkins, tissues or paper plates
  • Plastic bags (any type)
  • Plastic tarps and covers
  • Plastic wrap (packaging wrap)
  • Potato chip bags
  • Pouches (coffee bags, liquid soap refill bags, drink pouches, baby food pouches, etc.)
  • Propane or oxygen tanks
  • PVC piping
  • Rubber bands or elastic products
  • Scrap metal
  • Shoes
  • Shredded paper
  • Styrofoam (including egg cartons)
  • Tyvek envelopes
  • Window or picture frame glass
  • Window blinds
  • Wire
  • Wood or yard waste

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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