Birmingham curbside recycling returns July 1st. Need a recycling refresher course?

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Bales of recyclables at Birmingham Recycling and Recovery in Avondale. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Citywide curbside recycling in Birmingham is returning after service was suspended in early April due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The program resumes Wednesday July 1st, with pickup being the FIRST Wednesday of EVERY MONTH.

Curbside Recycling is Back

One local Birmingham company that is excited to see curbside recycling return to the Magic City is Birmingham Recycling and Recovery, the Avondale facility that separates and processes the region’s recyclables.

“Birmingham Recycling and Recovery is glad to hear that Birmingham is planning to resume residential services for recycling, said Leigh Shaffer, the company’s sales manager.  “I’m sure residents will be thrilled as well.  We have  been receiving a lot more residential dropoff during the hiatus. This should help cut down the traffic at our plant, which is good.”

Birmingham Recycling and Recovery in Avondale. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Curbside Recycling Refresher

We asked Shaffer to provide Bham Now readers/Birmingham residents  a quick “refresher” course on what you can and cannot be recycled at the curbside.


Bales of paper at Birmingham Recycling and Recovery in Avondale. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Paper: Includes – cardboard, corrugated or cereal box, mixed paper, office paper and junk mail

Plastics: #1- Soft drink and water bottles microwavable trays etc.. and #2  – Milk jugs, yogurt tubs, shampoo bottles, household cleaners

The program also takes aluminum cans and steel cans.

Does NOT Accept:

Glass and plastic bags. 

In fact, when you put out your curbside recyclables and you don’t have a recycling bin,  DO NOT put them in plastic bags. It messes up the sorter machines.  Use paper bags or boxes.

“We do prefer the materials to be empty, clean and dry, but we don’t expect people to put their recycling through a dishwasher,” added Shaffer.  “Contamination that we are most concerned about is twine, electronics, glass, textiles –  things that can damage their equipment or present hazards to their staff.”

More Good News – City Haul, the Future of Recycling Continues

The restart of the Birmingham residential curbside recycling program will not change the current 6 month City Haul  pilot curbside recycling program that was launched on April 1 in the Roebuck, Forest Park, Crestwood South, East Avondale  and Woodland Park neighborhoods.

About 2800 96-gallon refuse bins were distributed to those communities. They also have a different pickup schedule.  

If City Haul succeeds, expect additional Birmingham residential communities to be added.

Start Collecting Your Recyclables Today

UAB supports recycling and waste reduction initiatives in the new UAB Sustainability Strategic Plan. Photo courtesy of AUB

A friendly reminder, the Birmingham curbside recycling program resumes on Wednesday, July 1st. The first Wednesday of every month will be “recycling day”.

Do your part, save resources and protect the environment.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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