Proper waste disposal has become increasingly relevant nowadays, especially with the growing threat of environmental pollution. A major strategy to reduce pollution is recycling anything that can be recycled. However, each city has its own recycling rules, so we compiled Fresno’s below for your convenience.

Fresno, CA Waste Disposal Color System

In the city of Fresno, CA, waste disposal is color-coded, with, green representing biodegradables, gray for non-biodegradables, and blue bins being used for recyclables. By using this color coding method, it has led to Fresno being one of the leading cities in the US when it comes to recycling.

However, recent changes in China’s policies have resulted in cities across the US such as Fresno to consider and accept fewer items as “recyclable.”

So, what can be recycled?

To ensure compliance with Fresno’s local recycling rules, you need to be aware of what can and cannot be placed in the blue bin.

By doing so, you can avoid contaminating a good batch of recyclables and reduce the cost of removing these contaminants.

So, what can be recycled?


  • Beverage bottles
  • Food containers
  • Detergent bottles
  • Shampoo bottles


  • Cardboards (including boxes – they need to be broken down before being placed in the bin)
  • Books
  • Cartons
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Notebooks


  • Empty jars
  • Empty glass bottles


  • Aluminum cans
  • Empty or dry paint cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Bi-metal cans

What about the items that cannot go in the blue bin?

  • Clothes
  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags
  • Diapers
  • Plastic packaging
  • Soiled paper products
  • Tires
  • Styrofoam
  • Vinyl or rubber hose
  • Single-use plastics

Why can’t we recycle everything?

As mentioned, this is due to China’s policy regarding its accepting recyclables from the US. China is the United States’ primary customer for recyclable materials.

Because of their decision to cut back on importing trash from countries like the US, it now means that residents of cities like Fresno need to be careful with what they put in the recycling bins lest they just end up in landfills.

What else can we do?

With Fresno and other cities cutting back on what they accept as recycleable, what can we do to reduce our waste production and become more environmentally sustainable?

1. Use reusable water bottles.

Although they are still one of the items you can recycle, using reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones can have a large impact on waste reduction. There are plenty of options for reusable water bottles, ranging from plastic ones to metallic ones.

2. Bring your own cup for drinks.

Since Styrofoam and single-use plastic cups are not considered recyclable, why not opt to bring your own cup for drinks?

3. Don’t use plastic straws.

Although there’s a new law that limits the use of plastic straws in California, they don’t ban them outright. Reduce your waste production by opting to go without a straw for your drink, and simply drink from the rim of the cup.


Fresno is one of the country’s leading cities when it comes to recycling, and to ensure it remains that way, its residents must ensure that they’re fully complying with local recycling rules. For this to be possible, the public needs to be aware of what can and cannot be recycled, especially with the new policies in place.

For more information, the local Fresno government has a helpful website that details the local recycling rules further.