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Trash & Recycling
Recycling in Prince William County


Recycling Changes in effect

With changes to the markets that buy recycled materials, we must change what we recycle in Prince William County.  Learn what should be recycled and what must now go to the landfill.  When we recycle only these items, we can ensure recycling is successful for our community.  See what's new by clicking here.


Recycling is good for the economy, creates jobs, saves energy, reduces water and air pollution, and conserves landfill space. It is easy and something we can all do everyday!

Recycling is mandatory for residents and businesses in Prince William County.  Currently, we recycle 35% of our waste.

Private refuse hauling services provide recycling collection as part of their services to residents and businesses. You may hire your own service or work through your homeowners association or property management firm.  You may also bring your recycling to the Citizens Convenience Center at the Landfill or Balls Ford Compost Facility.  Residents may also take recyclables to the Drop-off Trailers located around the County.


Materials Accepted for Recycling

Please pay particular attention to what you place in your recycling bin.  Remember to only recycle materials that are accepted at this time.  Other materials placed in the bin may cause the entire load to be rejected. 

  • Plastics bottles and jugs:  #1 and #2 containers with necks including soda, water, juice, milk and detergent containers.  Rinse out containers.  Bottle caps may be replaced after rinsing.  No bottles that previously contained hazardous materials (such as oil, flammable materials, chemicals, etc.).    
  • Aluminum and steel food and beverage cans and empty aerosol cans.   Empty and rinse out cans.
  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, office paper and paperboard boxes, such as cereal, cookie, cracker and tissue boxes.
  • Cardboard (flattened and cut down to sizes up to 2 ft. X 2 ft. in size if taking to the drop-off trailers.)  Please note: large boxes may be taken to the County Landfill or Balls Ford Road Compost Facility. Do not include cardboard with food residue or plastic liners.  Also please discard packing materials such as Styrofoam, air pillows and bubble wrap. 

Material Not Accepted for recycling

  • No plastic bags - accepted at most grocery stores
  • No glass bottles and jars, window glass, mirrors, light bulbs or ceramics.  Glass bottles and jars only can be placed in purple bins located  at the  landfill and compost facility.  See A to Z Disposal Guide for other options.
  • No plastics #3 - #7 (such as yogurt, margarine and wide mouthed containers and buckets, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc.)  See A to Z Disposal Guide for other options.

Click here for a useful flyer about what to recycle and not to recycle in our community.  Available in Spanish/disponible en español.


  • Scrap metal (we do not accept car bodies)
  • Car batteries
  • Household batteries
  • Used oil filters 
  • Motor oil or antifreeze - store separately in clean container. Other fluids or solvents may be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste program.
  • Yard waste: grass, leaves, brush, branches and prunings. Food waste is not accepted from residents for composting/recycling
  • Flags for Boy Scouts to properly retire
  • Textiles (clothing and shoes)

Planning a special event?

The Department of Public Works offers recycling containers designed for collecting recyclables at special events. These containers are available for loan to community groups and non-profit organizations on a first-come first- served basis to promote recycling at events. There is no charge for this service. If your group is planning an event in Prince William County, please contact the Solid Waste Division at 703-792-4670. Click here for the Special Events Recycling Bin Agreement.

Learn more about recycling

Other ways to go green in Prince William County!


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