Mandatory Recycling


Nothing larger than an 18 gallon bin may be placed at the curb for collection of recyclables.

Only those residents using at least one City blue bag per calendar month shall put out recyclables. Trash must be "inside" the City blue bags.

*Glass will be collected separate from the commingled recyclables. Starting February 3, 2020, place all glass and only glass in a bin at the curb for pick-up on your regular collection day on or following the first Monday of the month (first full week of each month).

*Set commingled recyclables (plastic and paper) in a bin at the curb on your regular collection day the following weeks on the month.

Recycling Bin


  • Glass: Clear and colored glass food and beverage containers are recyclable. Discard lids and caps. Don't worry about removing labels, but remember glass and all other containers should be thoroughly rinsed out. This is critical to the city's efforts to run an efficient program. Dirty containers will not be picked up.
  • Plastic Containers: Only items with a top, lid or cap are recyclable. Empty and rinse all containers. Discard tops, lids and caps before recycling.
  • Metal Containers: Metal containers made of aluminum, metal and tin. Make sure cans are rinsed out. Detached lids should be disposed of with regular trash.
  • Newspapers: Clean dry newspaper and inserts, catalogs, magazines must be recycled. Opened mail, office paper, non-metallic wrapping paper, manila folders, phone books and hard cover books with covers removed are all recyclable.
  • Cardboard: Clean dry corrugated cardboard must be flat and tied in bundles no larger than 2 feet wide, 2 feet long and 12 inch high. Cereal, pasta, cake mix, cracker, shoe and tissue boxes may be flattened recycled. Remove plastic box liners. Paper egg cartons are also recyclable. Paper milk and juice cartons should be rinsed, drained and flattened if possible. Remove lids and straws from drink boxes.


  • Plastic bags (Recycle at Grocery Stores)
  • Dishes, pottery, Pyrex, light bulbs, mirrors, ceramics, window or auto glass
  • Styrofoam
  • Packaging Material
  • Lids, Tops, or Caps of any sort
  • Fast Food containers
  • Plastic clam shell containers
  • All Straws
  • Paper towels / Tissues
  • Wrapping paper, Plastic wrap, Bubble wrap
  • Medicine bottles, motor oil bottles, toys, furniture
  • Pot, pans, small appliances, silverware, car/motor parts, swing sets
  • Wax coated cardboard, wet paper/cardboard
  • Hard plastics (totes, 5 gallon, buckets)
  • Plastic or Styrofoam cups (solo, coffee)

Plastic - If it's "crunchy" - throw it out, if it's brittle and breaks easily - throw it out
                   Large yogurt containers, milk jugs or other jugs are recyclable without the lids
Cardboard - If it has a wax liner - throw it away


TVs, computers, DVD players, etc. must be dropped off at the recycle center, not put at the curb. Screens must not be broken or they will not be accepted. See details about electronics recycling.

Preparing Recycling

  • Trash and recycling must be at the curb by 7 a.m. on your trash day.
Improperly prepared trash and/or recyclables will not be collected. A sticker explaining the particular problems will be left with the uncollected trash. Uncollected trash, recyclables and/or garbage that is not removed from curbside within 24 hours will subject the landowner to a possible fine plus the cost of having the materials picked up!


  • A Monday holiday will delay pick up by one day all week, except Friday which will still be picked up on Friday.
  • A Tuesday holiday will delay pick up by one day for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; Monday and Friday will remain the same.
  • A Thursday holiday will be collected on Friday along with Friday's route. Monday through Wednesday will remain the same.
These are the holidays for the trash collectors which will cause collection to be delayed:
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Day

Important Contact Numbers

  • Cortland County Recycle Center: 607-756-8077
  • Highway Department: 607-753-9377
  • Department of Public Works: 607-756-6221

Sanitary Sewer Issues & Contact Numbers

If you are experiencing sanitary sewer issues you believe may be a direct result from a problem that is associated within the City's main sewer lines, please call the DPW at 607-756-6221. If after hours, please contact the City of Cortland Police Department at 607-758-8311 and they will direct your call to the proper agents.

Your Responsibility

Remember: Sidewalks are the property owners responsibility. Please keep walks clear of snow, ice and debris.

Please report plow damaged lawns to 607-756-6221.