WESTFIELD, NJ — The town of Westfield unveiled new recycling opportunities at its conservation center Wednesday, including a partnership with Second Chance Toys, which collects plastic toys, cleans them and gives them local to organizations that serve children in need.

New sheds, paid for with a grant from Union County, allow county residents to drop off the following items to be recycled, free of charge and without a permit:

  • Stryrofoam: All EPS (Styrofoam, identified by recycle symbol #6) should be clean of food, drink, tape, stickers and labels.
  • Batteries: All types of household batteries, including reusable batteries, can be recycled. Car batteries are not accepted.
  • Plastic toys: All types of plastic toys (including battery powered) are acceptable, as long as they function and have all parts. No small toys (those which can fit inside a toilet paper roll) are acceptable.
  • Fluorescent bulbs: 4’ and 8’ fluorescent, circular and u-shaped bulbs are acceptable. No broken bulbs are allowed.
  • Plastic bags/film: Most types are recyclable, including plastic grocery bags, bread bags, case overwraps, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, wood pellet bags, Ziploc and other resealable bags, bubble wrap, salt bags, air pak shipping bags and cereal bags. All materials must be clean, dry and free of food residue.

In addition to the new offerings, Union County residents can continue to recycle paper products, glass, plastic and metal containers, as well as electronic waste, cardboard, mattresses, textiles and scrap metal. Westfield residents can also get mulch and firewood at the conservation center for free.

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“To me, I think we try to make recycling, reusing as easy as possible and these are things that, instead of throwing out, you can bring here,” said Councilman David Contract, who serves as liaison to the Westfield Green Team. “The easier you make it to recycle, the more people will do it.”

The plastic toys collected at the center will be picked up in or around April (Earth Month) by Second Chance Toys. Volunteers will clean them until they look like new, then 1-800-Got-Junk? has volunteered to take them to the local organizations that need them, according to Bronna Lipton, executive director of Second Chance Toys. Westfield is the third town in the state to create drop off like this one at its recycling center, Lipton said.

“We’ll get about 1,000 toys by spring, if all goes as it does in other towns,” Lipton said. “Of the organizations that have signed up with us in New Jersey, we get requests for 80,000 toys a year.”

The center is located at 1300 Lamberts Mill Road. Current hours are Thursdays and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting Oct. 22 until Dec. 15, hours will be Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Permits, $50 per year, are available to residents who wish to dispose of plant matter from their property in town, such as leaves, grass clippings, garden refuse, twigs, branches, brush, shrubs and logs that are no more than two feet long.

For more information about the conservation center on the town’s website, click here.

Earlier this year, the town made an app called Recycle Coach available to Westfield residents. Recycle Coach allows users to stay organized with custom curbside collection and events calendars, receive collection reminders and real-time updates on service disruptions and more. To learn more about it, click here.

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