Your guide to recycling in Birmingham—2022

Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center
Find the closest recycling center to you. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Note: This guide was originally published on 5/31/2019 by Hannah Chambley and was last updated by Gabby Gervais on 2/11/2022.

It’s no secret Birmingham has some catching up to do when it comes to recycling. But don’t lose hope, there are plenty of options for recycling and wells of information untapped. Here’s your definitive guide on what, where and how to recycle in Birmingham.

Where and What to Recycle ♻️

Birmingham Recycling and Recovery

Bham Recycling and Recovery Your guide to recycling in Birmingham—2022
Birmingham Recycling and Recovery in Avondale. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Accepted items:

  • Paper: Junk mail, magazines, office paper, newspaper, cardboard
  • Metal: Aluminum cans, steel cans, tin cans
  • Plastic #1: Soft drink bottles, water bottles, mouthwash bottles, plastic jars
  • Plastic #2: Laundry detergent, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, cleaning supply bottles

UAB Recycling Center

Screen Shot 2018 11 26 at 3.51.39 PM Your guide to recycling in Birmingham—2022
Walking to class? Utilize the UAB Recycling Bins! (UAB)

Accepted items:

  • Cans: Aluminum (soda,beer)—place in the green compactor. Steel (soup,tuna,veggies,etc.)—place in the gray labeled tote in front of the green compactor.
  • Paper Products: Clean recyclable paper products. Shredded paper must be bagged. Boxes should be flattened.
  • Plastic Bottles: Empty and rinsed #1 bottles and cups only
  • Used Cooking Oil/Grease: Place in the white shed at the drop off entrance. Empty jugs on top, full jugs on bottom.

Unaccepted items:

  • Glass
  • Automotive Products
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Ammunition
  • Stickers or labels by themselves
  • Greasy/food contaminated paper (Pizza boxes, etc.)
  • Plastic bags
  • plates or utensils
  • 6-pack rings
  • Plastic that shatters
  • Styrofoam

Click here for cardboard dumpster locations across UAB’s campus

UAB Electronics Recycling

Electronics are accepted by appointment only—call to set up an appointment.

Click here for a full list of accepted and unaccepted items.

Unaccepted items include broken leaking or corroded batteries, anything too large for a pallet, any liquids of any kind etc.

Some items like TV’s and CRT computer monitors may be taken directly to Protec Recycling.

Jefferson County Commission—Free E-Recycling + Paper Shredding Days

Recycle your old tvs, printers, cell phones, computers, paper and more. For a full list of accepted items + more details, click here. Household quantities only.


Many Target locations have recycling bins set up for small amounts of glass, plastic, aluminum and more. Find your local store and call ahead to ensure availability.

Best Buy

Visit your local Best Buy to recycle up to three electronic items per household per day, including TV’s, computers and tablets, ink and toner and more.

Click here for a full list of recyclables, including haul-away options.

Styrofoam (Polystyrene)

CFL Light Bulbs and Batteries

You can recycle Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) at multiple places in and around Birmingham including various Lowes, Home Depot and Batteries Plus stores.

Batteries Plus

Batteries Plus locations recycle many batteries (lead acid, household, lithium ion, etc.) lightbulbs (LED, compact fluorescent, incandescent, etc.) and small electronics. For a full list of accepted recyclables, click here.

Home Depot and Lowes both accept rechargeable batteries. Your single-use batteries are safe to throw away, but your rechargeable batteries are recyclable. Here’s a full list of places in and around Birmingham that accept rechargeable batteries.

Re Cycle Applicance Recycling

Re Cycle Appliance Recycling offers free pick-up and recycling of your old, inefficient, or nonworking dishwashers, freezers, ovens, refrigerators, stoves, washers + dryers and water heaters.

To schedule a pickup, message or comment on their Facebook page.

City of Birmingham

Back in July of 2021, the City of Birmingham announced that curbside recycling is expanding to twice a month pickups.

The City of Birmingham picks up recycling on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.

Currently, the City of Birmingham does not distribute recycling bins. You can purchase one at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Depot or Walmart.

City of Bessemer

Bessemer Recycling Center


  • Cardboard
  • Plastics
  • Newspaper
  • For more information, contact the Recycling Center at 205-425-0068.

City of Leeds

City of Leeds Recycling Center


  • Aluminum/metal cans
  • Size 1 & 2 Plastic Bottles & Containers
  • Cardboard Boxes (broken down)  
  • Newspaper/Office Paper    

Unaccepted Items:

  • Food/Household Garbage
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam
  • Walmart/Grocery store bags

Note: Please separate your plastic, paper and cans into individual bags

City of Gardendale

You can request recycling services in Gardendale through Republic Services (previously Santek). You can a recycling cart, yard waste cart, dumpster rental, electronics recycling and bulb + battery recycling.

Visit their website and type in your address to start your request.

City of Homewood

The City of Homewood works with Republic Services for recycling. To view the pickup schedule, follow this link and type in your address.

For a full list of what is (and isn’t) accepted, click here.

City of Mountain Brook

According to their website: “Recycling materials are collected from the curb once a week on the same day as garbage and trash service. Items that can be recycled include:

  • Newspaper, mixed paper, junk mail, copy paper
  • Aluminum, steel and other metal cans
  • No.1 and No.2 plastic containers
  • HDPE clear plastic milk jugs
  • PET plastic soft drink containers
  • Cardboard and cardboard boxes

Residents are not required to remove labels from containers placed in the recycling bins; however, caps should be removed from containers and containers should be rinsed out.”

For a full list of accepted/unaccepted recyclables click here


Compost is only loaded Tuesday-Friday 7AM-11:00AM,1:30PM-3:30PM. Closed all Federal Holidays.

For more loading information, call 205-802-2390

If you’re searching for compost to use, Mountain Brook uses the leaves from residents to create compost. Anyone, not just Mountain Brook residents, can come by the Public Works facility and collect compost—free of charge if you load it yourself. There is a $20 charge per load for workers to load the compost mechanically.

Find more details here.

Hazardous Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers some leftover household products that can catch fire, react or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic as household hazardous waste.

Many common household products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and must
be disposed of carefully.

The City of Birmingham has provided a list of where to dispose of hazardous waste materials here.

Help the Earth and Make $ at the Same Time

Local Birmingham Beer Cans
Like we needed any excuse to drink more local beer. If you pick some up from the store, make sure you recycle the cans. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Need a little incentive to make the leap and start recycling? These scrap metals recycling centers in Birmingham will pay you for bringing in recyclable materials:

Brother’s Recycling

Brother’s Recycling buys and recycles most metals, including iron, aluminum, copper, insulated wire and brass. They also recycle car batteries, catalytic converters, various car parts, and more. For a full list of accepted items, click here.

Standard Iron & Metal

Standard Iron & Metal will buy scrap metals like aluminum cans, old appliances, car parts and more.

For a full list of accepted materials, check here. For details on container and pickup services, visit their site.

Standard Iron & Metal will buy scrap metals like aluminum cans, old appliances, car parts and more.

For a full list of accepted materials, check here. For details on container and pickup services, visit their site.

Steel City Recycling

Steel City Recycling is a full-service scrap metal recycling company.

They buy and process all types of scrap metals including copper, aluminum, used beverage cans, stainless steel, insulated copper wire and more.

Rather Recycling

Rather Recycling purchases several types of scrap metals, appliances and electronics. For a full list of accepted materials and prices, click here. For pickup details and more service information, visit their website

CMC Recycling

CMC Recycling accepts ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal. Visit their website for pricing and more information.

EXPRESS: If you have small amounts of scrap metal, you can visit the Recycling Express area. This area is for customers with less than 500 lbs of material and access is separate from the industrial area with staff ready to walk you through the scrap metal selling process.

Location: 3431 27th Ave. N, Birmingham, AL 35207 | 205-321-1177
Hours: Mon-Fri 8AM-12PM, 12:30-4PM | Closed Sat. and Sun.

Still Have Questions? 🤔👇

That was a lot—we know. If you still have questions, feel free to email us (

Support local and help the environment with the Alabama Environmental Council’s EAT initiative—recognizing restaurants that adopt sustainable practices and avoid the use of toxic food service containers. Learn more at

This guide is being continually updated. Did we miss anything? Tag us @BhamNow and let us know.

Hannah Chambley
Hannah Chambley
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