MORRIS PLAINS, NJ -  There are important changes being implemented to the 2019 plastic container recycling rules, stated The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority.

Starting this month in Morris Plains, Boonton, Boonton Township, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Mine Hill, Netcong, Pequannock, Rockaway Borough, Wharton, and the recycling depots in Harding, Mt. Arlington, Randolph, Rockaway Township, and Washington Township, there will be restrictions as to what can and can not be recycled.

According to the utilities authority, only plastic containers coded 1,2, and 5 are acceptable in residential curbside recycling. The utilities authority point to the restrictions imposed by China on imported recycling commodities for the change. Not sure what is acceptable and what isn't.  Morris County’s Recycling Coordinator Liz Sweedy advises residents to look for the recyling symbol on the bottom of the plastic container. 

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The MCMUA's guidelines for acceptable plastic bottles and containers include:

  • Containers that are coded #1 (PET, Poly-EthyleneTerephthalate) include water, soda and salad dressing bottles, microwavable food trays, and peanut butter container.
  • Containers coded #2 (HDPE, High Density Polyethylene) include milk jugs, shampoo bottles, and butter and yogurt tubs.
  • Containers coded #5 (PP, Polypropylene) include ketchup and syrup bottles, and some yogurt containers.
  • Plus aluminum cans, glass bottles and jars, steel (tin) cans, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, mixed paper, and organics that include leaves, grass clippings, brush, logs, stumps, branches and tree parts.

The MCMUA's guidelines for unacceptable plastic bottles/containers include::

  • Plastics with no container code (no number in a recycling symbol);
  • Plastics coded #3 (V, PVC Vinyl), which include cooking oil and mouthwash bottles, clear food packaging, and PVC piping;
  • Plastics coded #4 (LDPE, Low Density Polyethylene) used in plastic shopping bags and trash bags;
  • Plastics coded #6 (PS Polystyrene) used in disposable cups, plates, egg cartons, and clamshell take-out containers;
  • Plastics coded #7 (Other) used in three-to-five gallon water jugs and some food containers.

“Plastic bottles and containers that are coded with the numbers 3,4,6,and 7 are not mandated recyclable materials in the Morris County Solid Waste Management Plan and are not acceptable in the MCMUA’s single-stream recycling program,’’ said Sweedy.

Residents are asked to make sure their recyclable items are empty, clean and dry before putting them at the curb in reusable containers (loose, and not in plastic bags). There is only one exception for use of plastic bags: shredded paper can be placed inside of translucent plastic bags. 

At this time, there are no changes to the recycling requirements noted on the websites of the Town of Morristown or the Township of Morris. 


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