Middlesex County Improvement Authority's Wish List for Holiday Haul-Away

The MCIA’s Recycling Division is warning residents that some holiday items may not be appropriate for recycling. Credits: MCIA Recycling Division
The MCIA’s Recycling Division is warning residents that some holiday items may not be appropriate for recycling. Credits: MCIA Recycling Division

MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The holiday season is most assuredly upon Middlesex County.

While residents deck the halls, gift wrap goodies and prepare for the upcoming festivities, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority’s Recycling Division is also planning ahead by issuing an advisory.

“While our recycling brochures are very detailed, we can’t cover everything,” said MCIA Recycling Manager Ed Windas.  “There are specialty items that are synonymous with this time of year, and we want residents to know how to properly dispose of them.”

Sign Up for E-News

Products like greeting cards, envelopes and gift wrap are generally classified under mixed paper, with one major caveat, Windas said.

“We do not want nor can we take foil wrapping paper,” he said.

Even though most ornaments are primarily manufactured using glass or plastics, the Division also cautions residents against heaping these embellishments in with the recyclables. 

“Those are also on the not-wanted list,” Windas said.  “We only take certain types of plastics, which are not typically found in these decorations.  With respect to the glass ones, some may contain lead.”

In just a few weeks, street after street will be strewn with leftover holiday trees, which technically fall under the division’s yard-waste program.

“Every strand of tinsel, every ornament and every string of lights must be removed,” Windas warns.  “Contractors turn those trees into mulch and those adornments will contaminate the end product.”

The same can be said for all natural garland and wreaths, which must be detached from their wire frames prior to being left curbside, he added.

“We encourage our residents to recycle in so many ways, through community outreach, by employing our recycling robot and education program, as well as making general information available to them online,” said Middlesex County Deputy Director Freeholder and MCIA liaison Carol Bellante.  “But we need and would appreciate it, if they could follow these guidelines to make this holiday season’s process as seamless as possible.”

Each municipality has laid out a predetermined tree pick-up schedule far in advance.

Fourteen of those towns’ schedules, including Cranbury, Dunellen, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Middlesex, Monroe, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Plainsboro, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River and Spotswood, can be found at

Residents with further questions can contact the MCIA’s Recycling Division staff at 1-800-488-6242.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Holy Savior Academy Excels in the Arts - Annual Spring Musical, Art Show to Take Place in May

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The students and staff at Holy Savior Academy, a pre-K3 through eighth grade AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, have been busy gearing up for two widely anticipated spring events. In May, the drama club will present its 4th annual Spring Spectacular Musical and a school wide art show will also take ...

Hospital ER Expands as Caseload Jumps to More than 100,000 Annually

April 24, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - More than 100,000 patients come through the emergency department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, up from the approximately 40,000 cases that came through the doors less than 20 years ago.


"Spaces that were designed for one patient now have had two," said Dr. Robert Eisenstein, the hospital chief of emergency care. Obviously the number of ...

Stories About Juvenile Death Row Inmates Featured in New “Docu-play”

April 13, 2018

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - The United States is apparently the only country in the world where children are given death sentences.

A new documentary play by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg titled Life, Death, and Life Again: Children Sentenced to Die in Prison is being performed with coLAB Arts at the Reformed Church in Highland Park. The play will tell the true stories of people who committed violent ...

Free Programs and Resources for People with Diabetes Offered in Edison

April 25, 2018

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...