Every county has its own recycling rules. When you finally find your own place, you’ll usually have to start paying more attention to waste disposal and how to do it right.

In Athens, hard plastics, metal cans, glass bottles and mixed paper products can all be recycled. It’s important to remove caps off all bottles and clean anything with food residue. As a general rule of thumb, Athens-Clarke County won’t accept recyclable materials that are covered in grease or food. Break down cardboard boxes and leave out the Styrofoam, plastic bags and anything that can get tangled.

Check the details of your lease. Some landlords provide waste disposal and recycling for you, but many leases require you to sign up for waste disposal on your own. Service can be started through the Athens-Clarke County solid waste department, where you can choose the size of both your trash and recycling roll carts. Pay attention to trash collection days, because they change depending on where you live.

Finally, if you really want to be environmentally conscious, Athens-Clarke County accepts compostable products at a variety of locations around town, at no charge.

For details on ACC recycling, visit

This article originally was published in the 2020 edition of our special publication Student Housing Athens, GA.