City Offers Holiday Recycling Guidelines

Lincoln, NE (December 23, 2022)  Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) Waste Management Division today reminded residents to manage their waste and recycling this holiday season by using the free online service called “What Bin Does It Go In?” at

“Common questions our Solid Waste Management team receives over the holidays include how to recycle items like stringed lights, bows, bubble wrap, old toys, appliances and electronics,” said Donna Garden, Assistant Director of Utilities. “This online tool helps residents determine whether waste items should be recycled or landfilled.”

Residents enter items in the search field to learn whether they are reusable or recyclable, how to dispose of the item, and if there is a disposal fee or restriction.

Because large amounts of recyclable materials are generated during the holidays, LTU reminds residents to avoid “wishcycling,” which is assuming non-recyclable items will be recycled simply because they have been diverted from the trash bin. Additionally, nonrecyclable items such as plastic bags damage the machines used to process recyclables, contaminate other recyclables and can endanger workers who must climb into machinery to remove tangled materials.

Solid Waste Management recommends the best time for recyclers to drop off recycling at City recyclables collection sites is during weekdays several days after the holidays are over. Leaving material outside of the bins is considered illegal dumping and can be prosecuted.

Reducing, reusing and recycling helps save natural resources, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, preserves animal habitat, and redirects useful materials out of the landfill. LTU offers these reduce, reuse and recycling tips:

  • Reuse or donate holiday bows, ribbons, and decorations. They are not recyclable and do not belong in the bin.
  • Recycle plain wrapping paper. Wrapping paper with glitter or lamination is not recyclable.
  • Break down cardboard boxes and lay flat in recycling containers to save room for more materials.
  • Purchase items in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging.
  • Reduce consumption of nonessential or single-use products.
  • Consider adding other reusable items into your daily routine such as water bottles, coffee mugs, utensils and bags at the grocery and retail stores.
  • Consider purchasing used instead of new. Many used stores or marketplaces have clothing, books, toys and appliances that cost less money and are the same quality.

For more information on City recycling, visit For information on curbside recycling, contact your local refuse hauler.