BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Big changes have come to recycling in Union County – so big the county held a meeting on Wednesday, June 13, to go over the changes.

Residents will need to adapt to the changes, some may need or want to get new recycling containers, and, failure to comply will result in enforcement – possibly fines – and the rejection of some items at the curb or at the recycling facility.

According to a release from Giordano Company, the problem is China has banned 24 different types of plastics and set new quality standards for everything it will accept.

Sign Up for Berkeley Heights Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Giordano, the recycling company under contract to Berkeley Heights, has released an information sheet, as has Union County.

At the moment, here are the basic rules:

No plastic bags at all – even those labeled as “recycling bags.” 

Materials should not be bagged (even in paper bags), but loose in at least a 32-gallon container with an attached lid and labeled “recycling.”  They recommend purchasing a “toter” on wheels.

Materials must be dry – when they are wet, they are not marketable.

Plastics #1 and #2 are the only plastics that will be accepted.

Residents with questions may call the Giordano hotline 1-800-216-2250 ext. 2 or email The company is building a website with more detailed information.

For those who want to recycle plastic bags, learn how to participate in the “Trex Thin Film Plastics Recycling Challenge” here.