MADISON, NJ - When recycling, residents are asked not use bags to store recycling for collection.  The bags are harmful to the recycling process, said officials. All recyclables must be loose in a reusable container with handles and a lid.

Other items that are problematic include:

  • Plastic bags (Take them to a retail store with a dedicated bin for bags. They jam machinery.)
  • Plastic film/plastic packaging
  • Foam/Styrofoam (Large amounts of clean block Styrofoam that hasn’t contacted food can be recycled at Foam Pack Industries in Springfield.)
  • Hangers (Plastic, metal or wood — they jam up the machinery.)
  • Food waste
  • Wood scraps
  • Plastic bottles/containers coded #3, #4, #6 & #7 (Recycle only plastic bottles/containers coded #1, #2 & #5. No medicine bottles at all).

The goal is to avoid rejected loads at the local recycling facility which first separates the single-stream recyclables into the individual materials that make up the recycling stream, said officials. Cleaner loads result in less cost while rejected loads due to contamination result in a greater cost for all involved, they said.

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