Gainesville Zero Waste News

Gainesville to Host Free Tire Recycle Event Saturday, Feb. 4

The City of Gainesville will hold a FREE Tire Recycling Collection Event to help prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes in our community. Tires left outside often hold standing water and attract mosquito species such as the Yellow Fever Mosquito & Asian Tiger Mosquito. These mosquito species are key vectors for carrying Zika and Dengue viruses that can infect humans. Recycling tires and emptying buckets of standing water helps to eliminate available breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2023, from 9 AM to 2 PMcar tire with green recycling loop behind it

WHERE: Northside Park & Senior Recreation Center, 5701 NW 34th Blvd.


  • Up to 6 passenger automobile tires per day, per person.
  • All tires must be removed from rims.
  • No Commercial or Agriculture Equipment Tire.

For more information, call the City of Gainesville Solid Waste Division at 352-334-2330.

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Are You Setting Your Recycling Out Right?

blue recycle bin stacked on top of orange recycle bin with boxes under it Properly preparing your recyclables will maximize your environmental efforts and make it easier to collect & process these materials.

  • Stack Your Bins – Help prevent litter and keep papers dry by setting your blue bin on top of your orange bin.
  • Breakdown Boxes – All boxes should be empty and flattened into pieces no larger than 4 ft. by 4 ft. and placed in, under, or next to your orange recycle bin for collection on your service day.
  • Clean Out Boxes – Remove all foam, plastic film, and other packing materials from large and small boxes before setting them out for collection.
  • Caps Off – Remove all lids, caps, and corks from containers. Dispose of lids & caps in your garbage, and corks can be taken to drop-off locations for recycling.
  • Empty Out – Be sure to empty all bottles, cans, and cartons of liquids and food residue.

For more information on What Can Be Recycled, visit

Identifying Your Garbage Cart

your cart serial number.jpg Did you know every residential garbage cart issued in the City of Gainesville has a unique cart serial number?

Stamped in white numbering on each garbage cart is a serial number, and each cart is assigned to a specific address. The first stamped number on in the serial number will also identify the size of the garbage cart. If the first number is a "2" then you have a 20-gal., a "3" then you have a 35-gal. cart, a "6" then you have a 64-gal. cart, or a "9" then you have a 96-gal. cart.

To ensure proper billing, you should occasionally check the number on the garbage cart to see if the cart you are using matches the cart size and cart number printed on your GRU utility bill. It is not uncommon for garbage carts to become mixed up at homes with multiple units or during move-in/move-out events.

If your cart serial number does not match the number on your GRU bill or if you have other questions about your refuse collection services, please contact the Solid Waste Division at or 352-334-2330.

The Road to Zero Waste for Gainesville Food Service Establishments

yellow yield sign with the words The City of Gainesville has set a goal to go Zero Waste by 2040. To reach this goal, the city has enacted several ordinances designed to reduce consumption, increase recycling opportunities, and improve community aesthetics. Businesses are encouraged to rethink their waste and recycling practices to divert materials from landfills. Please review these ordinances to ensure that your business meets compliance.

Zero Waste Ordinances for Food Service Establishments (Restaurants, Bars & Grocery Stores) effective January 1, 2023:

  • Separate and recycle designated materials from the waste stream.
  • Food service providers shall not sell, use, or offer for sale a single-use plastic straw or stirrer.
  • Prepared food providers shall only supply plastic utensils, condiment packets, or portion cups upon customer request or at self-serve stations.
  • Garbage with food waste cannot remain unserviced for more than two consecutive working days.
  • Place an equal number of recycling receptacles with proper city-approved labeling.

For more information on these Zero Waste Ordinances, visit

Apartment & Condo Zero Waste Ordinance Requirements Starting January 1, 2023

The City of Gainesville has set a goal to go Zero Waste by 2040. To reach this goal, the city has enacted several ordinances designed to reduce consumption, increase recycling opportunities, and improve community aesthetics. Multi-family properties (apartments & condominiums) are encouraged to rethink their waste and recycling practices to divert materials from landfills.

green apartment recycle carts in a row Effective January 1, 2023, to meet compliance with City ordinances, Multi-family properties within will need to ensure that:

  • Designated materials (bottles, cans, cardboard, etc.) are separated and recycled from the waste stream.
  • Recycling is as convenient and accessible to residents as garbage collection.
  • Provide an adequate level of service and capacity of designated recyclable collection containers.
  • Post and maintain recycling educational signs in common areas where recyclables are collected.
  • Distribute recycling information to all tenants at least once annually and to all new tenants on move-in.
  • Garbage containers at multi-family properties are to be serviced at a minimum of twice per week, except for enclosed compacting dumpsters.

Multi-family properties are also responsible for arranging for the collection of items such as furniture and appliances within seven days of being placed for out collection. For more information on the City of Gainesville Zero Waste Initiative, visit

Recycle Your Holiday Lights at Free Drop-off Locations

bundle of old holiday lights From mid-November to the end of January, residents may drop off old sets of holiday lights for recycling at the City of Gainesville's Public Works offices. Residents may also recycle old holiday lights year-round at any one of Alachua County Drop-Off sites. For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit

Light strings with incandescent, LED, and “icicle” lights, along with wires and attached bulbs, are accepted for recycling. No set is too tangled to be recycled!

Replacing old incandescent lights can save you money on your electric bill, and new LED lights use 80-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED lights last up to 100,000 hours versus only 3,000 hours from incandescent lights.

Reminder: Do NOT place holiday lights in your home recycle bins.

"Ready, Set, Sort!" - New Online Recycling Game

“Ready, Set, Sort!” is an online interactive waste sorting game designed to help neighbors learn more about what materials can and cannot be recycled locally. The game is fast, fun, and great for all ages. Test your knowledge and build your dream park with Ready, Set, Sort!

In the game, as players complete each new level, they can select from various reward graphics to build their online dream park onscreen against a backdrop of iconic Gainesville landmarks. When players ‘drag & drop’ items into the correct waste stream, they are congratulated for getting those items right, and after completing each level, players can select a reward to add to their dream park design. Be sure to look for the Gainesville Solar Walk reward after completing the final level.

screenprint of waste sorting game

After completing the game, don’t forget to print your certificate of accomplishment to show all your friends. Through positive reinforcement, the Ready, Set, Sort! waste sorting game will teach individuals about proper service setout habits and help to reduce recycling contamination in an easy and fun way. The game changes every time it gets played, so boost your recycling knowledge by replaying Ready, Set, Sort! as many times as you like. 

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