As one of the most environmentally aware towns in New Jersey, Summit has long been active in promoting a healthier, greener town. Nevertheless, many residents are still at loss when it comes to understanding what can be recycled where, especially now that a new contract has been recently put in place. As of July 1st, recycling at the curb is picked up every Thursday throughout all of Summit! Even with the new curbside recycling program moving to weekly collection, trash collection remains exactly the same as it was before.

Many citizens participate in curbside recycling and also use the recycling facilities at the Transfer Station, but put items on their front lawns that shouldn’t be there on recycling day. The list of recyclable materials collected at curbside is less extensive than the materials accepted at the recycling center, but some of the categories may surprise you. First, if it rips, you can recycle it. You can recycle mixed papers like newspapers, phone books, food cartons, and even junk mail and paperback books tied up or in a paper bag. With the new recycling program, all plastics are now accepted on the curb as well as at the recycling center, except for plastic bags and Styrofoam. Aluminum containers and cans, steel, and glass are also collected there. Corrugated cardboard, like shipping boxes, are accepted, along with rechargeable batteries.

The Transfer Station accepts a wider variety of recyclable items than those collected at curbside. Objects only recyclable at the Transfer Station include Styrofoam (non-food) packaging, household electronics, fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent bulbs, wire hangers, and lead-acid car and boat batteries. Alkaline batteries and Styrofoam food containers are not recyclable anywhere in the city or the state, and are considered trash.

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Recycling is very important for the well being of our town. Not only does Summit make money by recycling, which helps control our taxes, but it also stops the chemicals in recyclable materials from being released into our atmosphere when burned in an incinerator or leeching in a landfill. This small action can make a huge difference. Please do your part. For more information on what’s recyclable where, and how to recycle it, check out our flyer on  If you have recycling questions, e-mail the Recycling Advisory Committee at

This article was written by Claire Harrison, a 9th grader at Summit High School and a member of Summit’s Recycling Advisory Committee.