Residential Recycling

Household Recycling Collection Information

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  • Recycling is collected once weekly except during weeks with holidays.
  • Recycling carts have been provided to City residents at no charge. Residents without carts may obtain them by contacting the Public Works Department at 301-809-2344.
  • See the Residential Recycling Collection Schedule.

Preparing Recycling for Collection

  • Place acceptable items in the recycling cart.
  • Do not bag your recyclable items in plastic bags.
    Plastic bags are NOT accepted at our recycling facility.
  • See list of local establishments that accept plastic bags for recycling.
  • Food and drink containers should be empty but do not need to be rinsed or cleaned.
  • Acceptable recyclable items that don’t fit in the recycling cart (such as flattened cardboard boxes) may be placed next to the cart. Please ensure items are flattened and cut into manageable sizes and weight to allow the collectors to place the items in the recycling truck.
  • Place your cart and any additional items for collection at the curb prior to 7 a.m. on the day of your collection, but not prior to 5 p.m. the day before your collection.
  • There is no weigh limit for your City provided recycling cart. Additional items not in the cart must weigh less than 50 lbs. and should be clearly marked ‘RECYCLE’.

Acceptable Items

  • Steel, tin and aluminum drink and food cans
  • All plastic food and beverage containers and any other plastics with recycling numbers (#1-5 & 7)
  • Office paper, brown paper bags, newspapers, magazines, and junk mail
  • Paper cardboard dairy and juice containers
  • Flattened cardboard and paperboard
  • Glass bottles and jars

Prohibited Items

  • Plastic bags *
  • Sheet plastic (cling wrap, tarps, etc.)
  • Window glass, or drinking glasses
  • Dishes or cookware
  • Styrofoam
  • Food waste
  • Polystyrene foam cups and containers
  • Rigid plastic items such as hangers and toys
  • Metal items not listed above
  • Hoses and string
  • Light bulbs of any type.
  • Wax paper or liners from cereal/cracker boxes
  • Crinkly wrappers for chips and snacks (granola bars, candy bars, pretzels, etc.)
  • Toothpaste tubes (These are a mix of many different components.)
  • CDs/DVDs and jewel cases (Jewel cases and CDs/DVDs can be recycled at Best Buy and other local stores.)
  • K-Cups for Keurig machines (See Keurig Mail-in Recycling Program)
  • Juice pouches (i.e. Capri Sun type of drink containers)
  • Motor oil or pesticide bottles
Note: For items the City cannot collect, see our page on More Recycling and Waste Disposal Resources for suggestions on how to dispose of these items.

* Plastic bags can be dropped off at most grocery stores in Bowie and at Best Buy, Home Depot, Kohl's, Lowe's, Target, and Walmart. You can also visit to find other places near you that will accept plastic bags for recycling.

Large Items

  • Single stream recycling is limited to those items listed above. Acceptable large items are likely limited to flattened, bundled cardboard.
  • Place flattened bundled cardboard, cut to manageable sizes for collectors, next to your recycling container for collection.
  • Note that large plastic items, such as toys, may not be recycled through our Residential Recycling Program. They may be dropped off at the Prince George's County Recycling Center at the Brown Station Landfill.

Recycling Carts

The City has distributed large, wheeled, blue recycling carts to all City neighborhoods. You may use the carts, the smaller blue recycling bins, or any container marked "Recycle". The wheeled carts cannot be used for household trash or yard waste. Contact Public Works at 301-809-2344, with any questions.

Bowie is committed to improving residential recycling rates because recycling reduces environmental impacts and conserves natural resource. It also results in savings to the community.

Tons Recycled
Landfill Cost Savings



Interested in knowing how your neighborhood compares with others across the City in terms of recycling rates? View our Recycling Report Card.