To Recycle or Not to Recycle? That's a Good Question.
As the new year peeks around the calendar’s corner, many residents are seeing the city’s new recycling guide showing up in their mailboxes. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, don’t worry - the first batch just arrived today. These guides are full of important and needed information for homeowners and renters, dealing with garbage collection, recycling, and yard waste collection dates and details. December 25th is the only day all year when garbage collection does not happen as usual.
Like this year, Wednesday will be the collection day for all yard waste and organic matter. Leaves and other vegetative waste must be placed in biodegradable paper bags or open containers; they cannot be left in the street or in plastic bags. The final collection for the winter was earlier this week; collection will resume on March 20, 2024. There is an exception for Christmas trees, which the city will pick up starting January 1 and continuing until February 1. You may leave your live tree on the curb and the DPW will pick it up sometime during the month.
Garbage collection, like always, is twice a week and homeowners are limited to three barrels or securely-tied plastic bags. Bulk waste (pieces of furniture, doors, mattresses) may be put out on your first pick-up of the week with a maximum of two pieces per week. Please make sure that recyclable items are not mixed in with your garbage; those things must be recycled. Pizza boxes and other take-out food containers are not recyclable; those go in your garbage.
Recycling will again be collected every two weeks; see the guide for the specific dates for your street. Recycle Coach is a helpful app that will help you keep track of your collection days for both recycling and solid waste. You only need to sort your recycling into two categories: all glass bottles/jars, aluminum, tin, plastic bottles #1, #2, and #5, steel food cans, and aluminum pie plates go in one bin, and paper and flattened cardboard boxes go in another.
Some items that are NOT recyclable, and that must go into your garbage, include disposable coffee cups and lids, Chinese take-out containers, plastic clamshell containers (even if marked with the correct number), pizza boxes, egg cartons, and plastic bottle lids. Plastic bags are not recyclable, either. Some grocery stores collect them if you’d like to recycle them.
Other items that must be recycled: metal items/appliances, car tires, household hazardous waste, propane tanks, construction debris, paint, and certain types of batteries. Please see the Recycling Guide for details and instructions for properly disposing of these items.
If you miss your curbside collection, you can bring your recyclables to the recycling center at City Hall Complex at 900 Clifton Avenue. The center is located down the hill from the well and the Arts Center. It’s open Monday-Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm and is closed on Sundays and for six holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. At the recycling center, you can also recycle certain types of packaging foam and textiles (fabric). Usable clothing can be donated to thrift stores or charitable organizations, or placed in donation bins.
If you have questions about what can be recycled or if your house is missed on a scheduled pick-up day, call the Department of Public Works (DPW) at: 973-470-2239.