top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

General Recycling

What materials do you recycle?

  • REALCYCLE is currently accepting glass, cardboard, compost, aluminum, and steel materials.

Is there a free option?

Do I have to sort my materials?

  • Contamination is the nemesis of reliable recycling. Pre-sorting keeps the materials cleaner and means astronomically higher rates of the materials actually getting recycled back into new products. So yes, please sort your materials to help us recycle the most we can!

Where do my materials go?

  • Follow this link to see a breakdown of where exactly we send your materials to have a second life and avoid the landfill:

Are my materials really being recycled?

  • Our mission is to restore faith in the way Louisiana recycles. When you recycle with us, you REALCYCLE – you can have complete confidence that we are handling your materials with care to make sure they are truly being given a new life and avoiding the landfill.​

What does my Farmer’s Market punch card get me?

  • Market regulars receive a punch card and after 5 visits can redeem it for 2 quarts of our compost soil or 20% off at Marine Layer on Magazine Street.

Are you part of another organization?

  • No, we are an independent company part of the larger recycling community and efforts in New Orleans.


Do you sort by color?

  • Nope! All colors and kinds of glass can be intermingled when recycled with us.

Are there any restrictions to the glass you’ll take?

  • We accept almost all forms of glass as long as there is no film on it, such as a car windshield. No light bulbs either, please.

Do you accept broken glass?

  • Sure! It’s all going to get broken down eventually anyway so that is not a problem.

Do I need to remove all lids/caps/corks?

  • Yes, please! Removing these contaminants at the beginning reduces the need for filtering them out later. For residential customers, lids/caps/corks can be placed in your “Cans” bin for sorting.

How about labels?

  • Labels can be kept on glass products and do not need to be peeled off.

Compost & Paper Bags

What can I include in my compost?

  • Food scraps from cooking, coffee grounds, fruits/veggies, egg shells, yard clippings, paper grocery bags, toilet/paper towel rolls, brown paper packing filler, egg cartons, bones, tea bags, newspaper.

  • Toilet/paper towel rolls/brown paper packaging filler can be placed in compost.

What should I avoid putting in my compost?

  • No raw meat, dairy products, disposable coffee cups, veggie stickers/twisty ties, plastic bags, compostable cups (unless they are BPI certified), pet waste.

What’s the best way to collect my compost during the week?

  • Collecting in your fridge or freezer keeps the smells and juice to a minimum (and attracts virtually no pests) while you wait to drop-off or place in your residential bin for pick up.

  • For residential customers - please bag all loose compost (especially coffee grounds) in double-bagged paper bags or BPI certified compostable bags before placing in your bin (the only exception is for dry, easy to dump yard clippings). This significantly cuts down the amount of time spent cleaning the bins between uses. Please do not leave compost in plastic bags for collection.

Do you accept brown paper bags from the grocery store?

  • Absolutely! If they are still in good shape, we will gladly take an organized bag of neatly folded bags.

Help! I need paper/compostable bags, please!

  • We’ve got you! Ask for some at the market or email to request bags to be dropped off at your next residential pickup.


Aluminum Cans

Should the cans be crushed?

  • Crushed cans save us space in our collection bins and allow us to collect more cans at our scrap yard to sell for Nola Cans4Food.

Steel Cans

What do you mean by steel cans?

  • Soup cans, canned veggie cans, cat/dog food cans, etc.

  • Please rinse out all cans prior to placing in your residential bin or bringing them to the market.

Should I crush my cans?

  • Not required, but it definitely helps us save space if you can!

Should I remove any labels?

  • This is not necessary.

Cardboard & Paper

Do my boxes need to be broken down and flattened?

  • Yes, please breakdown ALL boxes (cardboard and paperboard). This saves us space as we collect!

Can cardboard and paperboard be collected together?

  • If you can separate your paperboard from your cardboard, that would help us tremendously as we have to separate the 2 materials later. (This is true for both the market and the pick-ups)

What is the difference between cardboard and paperboard?

  • We prefer to collect corrugated cardboard, or the type that is usually brown with a squiggly line between layers. We accept paperboard as well, which is thin and usually colorful, like soda or cereal boxes.

Do you offer paper recycling?

  • Right now we do not have an avenue for recycling paper, but we are hoping to offer this as part of our service soon so please stay tuned.

What about newspapers?

  • Small amounts of NEWSPRINT ONLY (glossy inserts removed) can be collected for our compost.

Plastics & Batteries

Why do you accept plastics at the Jefferson Parish drop offs but not on the residential route?

  • We are not currently accepting plastics (or mixed paper) on our residential route due to logistical and financial limitations. Because we collect your recyclable materials separately on our trucks, we are limited on how many different materials we can collect. We are able to accept these materials at the drop offs because we can collect them in larger vessels then take them directly to the Material Recovery Facility. We are working on plans to expand our accepted materials for residential pickups, but we're just not there quite yet. Thank you for your patience with us and support as we continue to grow! 

Do you accept batteries or electronics?

  • We are not currently collecting batteries. You can take batteries and electronics to the Elysian Fields Transfer Station at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave every Saturday from 8am - 1pm. To see a list of items they accept, go here:

bottom of page