How to recycle anything in Cincinnati

It’s April, and spring (cleaning) season is in full swing. In an effort to reduce what we’re throwing away, many of us opt to donate, upcycle or recycle. But it’s not that simple. From batteries to paint cans to electronics and toys, we’ve got the scoop on where to recycle all your hard-to-recycle stuff!

**Please note: due to COVID-19, some of these places aren’t currently accepting donations. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spring clean! Set aside piles to donate later!!**

Here’s how to recycle anything in Cincinnati:

Recycling 101

First up: what can be recycled? According to Rumpke’s website, the following can be tossed into your recycling bin:

  • All plastic bottles and jugs,
  • Glass jars and bottles (any color) – Metal lids ok if detached from bottle, labels ok
  • Aluminum beverage cans
  • Steel cans – Labels may be left on
  • Cartons (Juice boxes, soup/stock boxes, etc.) – remove caps and straws
  • Empty aerosol cans – with lids and tips removed
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes, frozen food boxes, 12-pack containers, etc.)
  • Cardboard – broken down to 3′-by-3′ sections
  • A variety of paper products, including: office paper, newspaper, magazines, junk mail and envelopes (with or without windows), telephone books, paper grocery bags and clean pizza boxes

Tip: You can reduce the amount of mail you get by signing up for electronic statements/bills and opting out of junk mail.


General Household Items

You can donate a variety of household items to charities like Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul. The City of Cincinnati has partnered with the company Simple Recycling to collect and recycle clothing and housewares at the curb – contact Simple Recycling by calling 866-835-5068 or clicking here to send an email and you’ll receive orange bags to place by your recycling on pickup day.

Giveaway sites

Nextdoor and Craigslist are great resources for giving away a variety of items – simply post what you want to give away!


Don’t toss these — click here for places that accept electronics (including microwaves) year round.


New Life Furniture and Habitat for Humanity will pick up large furniture items for you! Simply visit the website and schedule a pickup.

Ink Cartridges

Select Best Buy, Staples and Office Max stores accept empty ink cartridges. Call before you go to ensure store participation.


Salvation Army and Furniture Bank accept mattresses as long as there are no holes or stains.

Pet Supplies

The Scratching Post accepts cat food, treats, beds and various office/household supplies. Hart Animal Rescue accepts used pet supplies and the SPCA always needs dog food, shampoo, treats and cleaning supplies.

Tubs, Windows, Cabinets, Sinks, Light Fixtures

Cincinnati ReUse Center accepts most household materials in good condition building materials, appliances and furniture.

TVs, Vacuums, Lamps

Cleanlites Recycling accepts a variety of household electronics in an effort to reduce landfill waste. Many items are accepted for free; certain items are accepted at a small cost. Contact Cleanlites for details.

Best Buy accepts many electronics for recycling — and certain items can be traded in for a gift card.


Auto Fluids

Drop off containers of auto fluids (oil, coolant, etc.) at Burton’s Collision on Galbraith Road.


Many battery types can be fully recycled. Some types require special handling or processes that may require a fee to properly recycle the battery. In Cincinnati, Batteries Plus recycles a variety of batteries, including car, electronics and laptop batteries.

Household Hazardous Waste

Beginning March 21, Hamilton County residents can drop off household hazardous waste at Environmental Enterprises, Inc. This service is open Thursdays, from 1-7 pm, March 21 through October 24, 2019 (closed on July 4), and accepts the following:

Pesticides/Fertilizers • Solvents/Thinners/Oil-Based Paints & Stains • Lawn/Pool Chemicals • Cleaners • Batteries • Fire Extinguishers • Propane Tanks • Mercury • Fluorescent Bulbs • Driveway Sealer • Gasoline/Motor Oil • Antifreeze • Thermostats • Tar • Oxygen/Helium Cylinders


Drop off old lightbulbs at Batteries Plus.


Matthew 25: Ministries and the ReUse Center accept latex paint — paint must be in usable condition. (Empty paint cans can be thrown in the trash.)



St. Vincent de Paul accepts used vehicles (they also accept boats, motorcycles or RVs). Schedule a pickup or drop your vehicle off at one of their locations.

Medical supplies

For a variety of reasons, you might find yourself with unused medical supplies – and it’s not safe to throw these away. St. Vincent de Paul accepts unused diabetic supplies, TriHealth has a program for extra medication, and there are several Rx Drop Boxes across Cincinnati.

National Prescription Take Back Day –where you can drop off unused medications at participating law enforcement agencies — has been postponed due to COVID-19.



At each Hamilton County branch, you’ll find a large bin where you can donate your gently used books, CDs and DVDs. These items will be added to the Friends of the Public Library Warehouse, where they’ll be sold to fund library programs (like the summer reading adventure!).


  • If you’ve cleaned your kids’ closet and want to get rid of a few items, you can bag and drop off at a variety of donation bins located across Cincinnati.
  • Once Upon a Child accepts gently-used kids’ clothing, toys and equipment, and will pay cash on the spot for those items!

Car Seats

While most donation facilities accept baby items such as cribs, play yards, changing tables, strollers and high chairs, car seats are generally not accepted due to safety regulations. Each spring Target offers a trade-in program where you donate old car seats in exchange for a coupon valid towards a new car seat.


Broken toys, used toys, new toys… our Toy Donation Guide has the 411 on where to recycle or donate your toy overflow!

Didn’t see what you were looking for? Click over to and enter your recyclable items in their search engine!

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