Dispose of Cups (Paper and/or Plastic) Right

In some communities, certain types of plastic cups are accepted for recycling. Plastic cups are a single-use product mainly for cold beverages. Acceptable plastic cups include to-go, takeout, or fast-food cups. Additionally, in some communities, paper cups for hot and cold beverages are also accepted.


Which recycling processors can accept some types of plastic cups and paper cups?

As of February 1, 2022, residents serviced by Republic Services and Rumpke Waste & Recycling can include some types of plastic cups and paper cups in their curbside recycling.


As of December 2023, WM accepts PLASTIC CUPS ONLY for recycling. 


Kimble Companies does not accept plastic cups or paper cups for recycling. 


How to Recycle Cups

Tips to recycle plastic to-go, takeout, or fast food cups:

  • Must be empty, clean, and dry before being placed in recycling.
  • Remove straws and place in the trash. Plastic lids can stay on plastic cups.
  • Do not nest or stack cups together before recycling.

Tips to recycle paper beverage cups:

  • Must be empty, clean, and dry before being placed in curbside recycling.
  • Remove plastic lids and straws. Place in the trash. No plastic lids on paper cups.
  • Do not nest or stack cups together before recycling.

What types of cups are not accepted?

No plastic party cups (Solo, Dixie, Hefty, Great Value, Up & Up, or other brand) – place these items in the trash. If you don't want to throw plastic party cups in the trash, take advantage of a mail-back recycling program through TerraCycle. Disposable cups made of Styrofoam or polystyrene, ceramic, and glass are not accepted. Do not place K-Cups or coffee pods in recycling.

What about other plastics? Can all plastics be recycled?

In Cuyahoga County, empty plastic bottles or jugs can go in your curbside recycling including water and soda bottles, shampoo bottles, milk, water and juice jugs, laundry detergent jugs, and bleach bottles. Think containers with a “neck.” Bottles and jugs should be empty, clean, and dry. Replace the cap and place in your curbside recycling.

Some communities in Cuyahoga County can recycle plastic tubs. See more about plastic bottles and jugs plus a list of other items.


Why can’t all plastics be recycled?

There is an abundance of plastic packaging in our society today and only about 9% of it can currently be recycled. This is due to limited markets for recycled plastic (not all manufacturers produce packaging from recycled plastic) and the complexities of sorting out the various kinds of plastic.


What are the alternatives?

Until there is a major shift in the demand for recycled materials and more sensible packaging design, consumers are limited in our recycling options. But we do have a choice now to reduce our consumption of single-use items. Small changes add up to less waste in our landfills and our environment. Consider these ideas for reducing waste.



Looking to recycle, donate or dispose of other items? Use the dark blue 'What Do I Do With?' search bar at the top of every page of this website. Allow location services or use the city drop-down to find opportunities in your local area.