SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Every other week, residents of the Borough of South Plainfield drag their blue cans and bins to the curb, setting them out the night before or morning of their scheduled recycling day.

In the borough, close 20 everyday items must be recycled – as opposed to being included in regular trash pickup – and South Plainfield’s curbside recycling program is ‘single-stream,’ meaning all items can be placed in the same receptacles and do not need to be sorted prior to being put to the curb.  

While being able to toss plastics, cardboard, glass and other recyclables away in the same container and having it picked up at the curb is convenient, inclement weather, particularly high winds, can make for a rather messy recycling day.

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“Residents should realize that putting out their recyclables on [a windy] day will just lead to them being blown down the streets, littering them and fellow residents' lawns and bushes,” said borough resident David in an email to TAPinto South Plainfield. “It is a total mess and could be prevented if residents would just think about what will happen on such a day...

The wind can cause light-weight, unsecured recyclables to blow out of the blue cans while strong gusts can knock entire cans down, sending their contents onto streets and lawns.

“It’s a difficult situation; residents pay, through their taxes, for the service of having their recyclables picked up every other week, but when it is really windy there isn’t a lot that can be done to prevent the cans from blowing over,” said Alice Tempel, recycling coordinator for the Borough of South Plainfield, adding,“Forty-mile per hour wind gusts are going to take your can down.”

Those putting their recyclables to the curb on windy days, said Tempel, should try to stabilize the bin as much as possible. Suggestions including stacking tied cardboard on the bottom to weigh the container down and securing the contents with a lid; lids that fit the 20- and 25-gallon round blue containers provided to residents can be purchased through the borough clerk’s office for $3 each.

Tempel also advises against placing recyclable items in plastic bags as the bags themselves not only cause damage to the machines at the sorting facility but, if not transparent, may be left at the curb.

“If you cannot firmly secure the can, consider saving it for the next pickup date or using the drop-off center,” said Tempel.

South Plainfield’s Recycling Center, located on Kenneth Avenue, is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 12 to 7 p.m. Unlike curbside pickup, however, items dropped off must be separated; cardboard apart from other mixed paper and paper separate from bottles and cans. Lids for the 20 – and 25-gallon blue recycling bins can be purchased Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the borough clerk’s office and picked up, with a paid receipt, at the recycling center during hours of operation.

Additionally, residents can download the My Waste app to receive reminders about upcoming recycling pickup collections and weather- and holiday-related schedule changes. For more information on My Waste as well as the borough’s drop-off and curbside recycling programs, visit

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