Zero-Sort recycling is a state-of-the-art process that enables paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal cans to be collected together in one bin, eliminating the need for you to separate recyclables. Remember that plastic bags are not allowed in your recycling! If you need more space for your recyclables, you may use any type of durable, weather-proof container as an additional recycling bin.

Zero-Sort Recycling

Toss ONLY the Zero-Sort recyclables listed below into your recycling bin (for single-family and multi-family residential buildings containing up to six units). Want to know if you can put something in your recycling bin?

  • Aluminum & Steel Cans (Foil & Empty Food & Beverage Cans)
  • Boxboard (Dry-Food Boxes, Egg Cartons & Rolls)
  • Corrugated Cardboard (Wavy Center Layer)
  • Glass Bottles & Jars (Empty Food & Beverage Bottles & Jars)
  • Newspaper, Junk Mail, Magazines & Office Paper (Paper Bags, Envelopes & Catalogs)
  • Plastic Bottles, Jugs, Tubs & Lids (Empty Kitchen, Laundry & Bath Containers)
Graphic of Acceptable Recyclables
  • No plastic bags, either individually or filled with materials.
  • No wax coated paper items.
  • No disposable items such as plastic cutlery, paper towels or Styrofoam takeout food containers.
  • No food or liquid; all containers must be emptied.
  • No clothing or linens.
  • No items that will tangle in the sorting machines such as hoses, electrical wires or chains.
  • No batteries, scrap metal, pans or aerosol cans.
  • No electronic devices or hazardous materials.
  • No ceramics or baking glass.
  • No medical waste, including gloves and masks.
  • No yard waste, such as wood or tires.
Graphic of Unacceptable Recyclables

Not sure where to recycling things that don't belong in your household recycling bin? Use the Recyclopedia search function below! You can also visit the Beyond the Bin Website for additional tips, drop-off locations and a fun quiz!

Recycling bins containing unacceptable materials (including plastic bags) will NOT be collected. Help spread the word about recycling in your neighborhood! - English & Spanish Recycling Program Flyer


Set recyclables and trash at the curb between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on your scheduled trash/recycling day. Whenever a scheduled collection day falls on a holiday, that day's collection and all remaining collections for the week will be delayed one day.

Collection Schedule Map

Observed Holidays

New Larger Recycling Bins

The City delivered new 22-gallon containers that come fitted with a vented plastic dome cover to help prevent materials from blowing out onto the street.

The bins are also labeled with instructions on what materials should be recycled using the bins and which should not.

City of Worcester Recycling Bin

How to Obtain a Recycling Bin

Residents may use any type of durable, weather-proof container as a recycling bin.

Additional City Recycling Bins may be purchased for $12 at the following locations:

  • DPW, 20 East Worcester Street, 2nd Floor Welcome Desk: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (not available from 12 - 12:30 p.m.)
  • Residential Drop-Off Center, 1065 Millbury Street: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (not available from 12 - 12:30 p.m.)
  • Please be sure to bring proof of residency with you.
  • New residents will receive one bin free of charge.
  • A resident who brings in their damaged bin will receive a new bin in exchange.

Have a Question?

Contact Information

Department of Public Works
20 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300
Fax: 508-799-1448
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Worcester 311
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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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