SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The Borough of South Plainfield has rejoined the Middlesex County Recycling Program and, as a result, a new curbside recycling schedule went into effect earlier this month. Under the change, the 10 collection sections currently in place throughout the municipality have been consolidated into two, with bi-weekly curbside pickup taking place throughout the borough on Thursdays and Fridays only.

“Everything is going to be the same, except for the collection schedule. As of June, curbside pickup will be continue to be done by Solterra, but under contract to Middlesex County, not to us,” said Alice Tempel, recycling coordinator for the Borough of South Plainfield, noting that the ‘new’ recycling schedule is one the municipality utilized prior to changing over to a 10-section schedule back in 2010.

“We were with the Middlesex County program from 1995 to 2010; for all that time we had a Thursday section and a Friday section.”

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"Letters have been sent to the residents regarding the new schedule," said town Administrator, Glenn Cullen at the Council Meeting last night.  " In regards to the letters, I want to make sure we are promoting the My Waste App," said Mayor Anesh.  "It is a very easy to download, the residents put in their address and their recycling schedule is downloaded. The residents can even set reminders."  Anesh added he thought the majority of the residents do have some type of device, phone, ipad or computer to download the My Waste App.  The free app includes a "What Goes Where?" feature as well as tips on living green.

The My Waste widget is on the Borough's website ( in the Department of Public Works and Recycling Pages.  Links to iTunes and the Google Play Store allow easy download of the app to iPhone and Android smartphones.

Despite the schedule change, numerous recycling guidelines remain the same: bins should be at the curb by 6 a.m.; all materials can be mixed single-stream or separated; materials should be loose in the bin, not bagged; and recycling in regular garbage cans should be placed at curb without a lid.

Residents, however, should note that only Number 1 and Number 2 plastic bottles – water bottles and other beverage bottles, water and milk jugs, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. – are to be recycled at this time; food trays, cups, rigid plastics (regardless of the number), plastic bags, and any items bearing Number 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 should be included with regular trash and not placed in recycling bins or brought to the recycling center.

“All these plastics, anything not bearing a Number 1 or Number 2, should be thrown out in the trash. This is not new and something we have been trying to publicize for some time now,” said Tempel, telling TAPinto South Plainfield that, at this time, there is little to no demand for these other types of plastics. “Recycling is multi-faceted and marketed driven and market dependent. The demand for those things has reduced to the point that if those items are placed in the recycling can they are going to be put in the garbage anyway.” 

"There was still confusion on the schedule," said Councilman Jon Dean. "Even though it was in both of the town's papers, and posted on social media. Also, many residents thought there was a change regarding plastics. This is not a change," said Dean. "Regardless if you put the other plastics in the trash or in the recycling, it will still end up in the landfill."  Dean said he followed the trucks the other day and did not see them throwing cans or spilling glass on the streets. He did state "he saw residents putting out their recycling after the trucks passed thru their neighborhood."

Those residents seeking to dispose of recyclables in between scheduled pickup dates may drop items off to the South Plainfield’s Recycling Center. Located on Kenneth Avenue, the center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 12 to 7 p.m. Please note, however, that items dropped off must be separated; cardboard apart from other mixed paper and paper separate from bottles and cans.

Reminders about upcoming recycling pickup collections and weather- and holiday-related schedule change, download the My Waste app. Additional information on My Waste as well as the borough’s drop-off and curbside recycling programs is available online at or by calling the Recycling Hotline at (908) 226-7620. 

Recycling on the north side of town is scheduled to be picked up this Thursday and the south side of town will be picked up this Friday.

In addition to downloading the My Waste App, TAPinto would like to announce they now have the TAP APP which can be downloaded for free along with the My Waste App to get all the news each and every day for free on any device. Download the free TAP APP for iPhone or Android.