ELIZABETH, NJ - Bag it. Actually, don't bag it -- just bag the bags.
Union County is reminding Summit residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs. To facilitate convenience and organization, some residents use plastic bags to carry approved items -- such as cans, bottles and other items -- to the curbside, however those bags interfere with the recycling process and contaminates the recycling stream.
Items should be placed directly into the bins without the bags.
Plastic bags can be recycled through a designated retailer, such as a local supermarket or department store. To search for a convenient drop-off site, use the free location finder at plasticfilmrecycling.org.
Common items that are currently accepted by local recycling programs include:
- Plastic bottles and containers that are coded with #1 or #2 on the bottom.
- Aluminum and steel (tin) cans and lids.
- All sizes, shapes and colors of glass bottles and jars.
- Corrugated cardboard boxes such as cereal and clean pizza boxes; and milk, juice and fruit cartons.
- All mixed paper, including newspapers, magazines, junk mail, catalogs and phone books may be recycled. The exception is pre-shredded paper. Residents who need secure shredding for personal documents can use Union County’s free mobile shredding events.
The following items CANNOT be recycled at curbside:
- Plastic bags or other plastic film.
- Styrofoam -- check your municipality for drop-off location, if any.
- Dishware, glass and mirrors -- can be thrown in regular garbage.
- Dirty pizza boxes -- no leftover food or grease can be included.
- Shredded paper – bring personal documents to a free mobile shredding event.
- Pots, pans and small appliances – check with your municipality for scrap metal drop-off location, if any.
- Plastic containers and plastic ware.
For more information on local and countywide recycling programs, FAQs about curbside recycling and a list of municipal recycling coordinators, visit the Union County Bureau of Recycling & Planning at 908-654-9890 or online at ucnj.org/recycling.