Yogurt containers, plastic fruit containers, plastic water, soda, and laundry detergent bottles--all these can be co-mingled with glass, aluminum and tin, and recycled curbside or at the Transfer Station in Summit. How do you know for sure what plastic items are recyclable? Simple! Just look at the bottom of each item. If it has the embossed recycling triangle with any number 1-7, you can recycle it. The only plastics you cannot recycle are plastic bags, shrink wrap, and Styrofoam containers.

As for paper recycling, the guideline is “if it rips, recycle it.” You can throw junk mail, catalogs, old books (hard covers removed), newspapers, office paper, clean food boxes (cereal boxes, for example) and cardboard milk and juice cartons into your mixed paper recycling container. Even shredded paper can be recycled if placed in clear plastic bags atop your other paper.

And recycling in Summit is saving the City over $80,000 a year of your taxpayer dollars. The more we recycle, the less garbage we generate, and the more money is saved.

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Curbside recycling is a big hit in Summit, especially since collection became a weekly event and the kinds of recyclable items increased. Summit has an extensive recycling program, accepting some items that are not recyclable in other communities, including, for example, medicine bottles, plastic bottle caps (removed from the bottles), plastic cutlery, and toys. At the Transfer Station, you can also recycle household electronics, lead acid car and boat batteries, metal appliances, Styrofoam packing materials (but not "peanuts"), and fluorescent light bulbs. Summit also recycles textiles (old clothing, bedding, and shoes clipped together) at the Transfer Station Recycling Center. Summit residents have recycled an average of 500 pounds of textiles a week since the textiles program was introduced.

State regulations on recycling batteries have changed so that alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V) are no longer recyclable either curbside or at the Transfer Station. However, rechargeable batteries can still be recycled curbside by placing them in a clear plastic bag on top of your paper recycling container. Because alkaline batteries are no longer recyclable, rechargeable batteries are a better choice when you are looking to buy new batteries.

For additional information on recycling in Summit, take a look at the recycling flyer on the City of Summit website. If you would like to contact the Summit Recycling Advisory Committee with a recycling concern, you can e-mail GoGreen@CityofSummit.org.

Recycling makes “sense” and “cents,” and Summit’s convenient options make recycling easy. Get in the habit of recycling as much as you can; it will benefit you, the environment and your community.

By Marjorie Fox, Chair, Summit Recycling Advisory Committee