Why can't I recycle...

  • Plastic bags, shrink-wrap, cellophane? These materials get tangled in the single-stream separating equipment.

  • Styrofoam, other polystyrenes? There is a market overseas for recycled Styrofoam, but not currently in the US.

  • Wrapping paper? There’s not much fiber content in wrapping paper, so there’s not anything to recycle—it just dissolves.

  • Metal coat hangers? They (like plastic bags) get tangled in the equipment so can’t be recycled through single-stream recycling.

  • Unwashed food containers? As food decays during the recycling process, the stinky odor becomes part of the batch, and the whole batch will be rejected by the end-user.

Acceptable Items for Recycling:


  • Prescription and non-prescription medicine bottles (remove labels for privacy)

  • Plastic bottles and bottle caps

  • Plastic takeout and microwavable containers (rinsed)

  • Straws, cups, plastic cutlery (rinsed)

  • Plastic flower pots (rinsed)


  • Aluminum foil (clean)

  • Latex paint cans (as long as paint residue is completely dried)

  • Metal cans (rinsed)


  • Magazines, catalogs, and greeting cards

  • Newspapers and inserts

  • Telephone books (to opt out of receiving, visit www.yellowpagesoptout.com)

  • Computer, letter, and notebook paper

  • Window, manilla, and plain envelopes


  • Milk cartons, juice boxes, and waxed cardboard containers (rinsed)

  • Shirt, shoe, and other cardboard boxes (including cereal and other food boxes)

  • Corrugated cardboard boxes

  • Toilet paper and paper towel inner cardboard rolls.

  • Paper egg cartons

  • Plastic containers marked 1-7


  • Glass bottles and jars (rinsed)

Non-acceptable items:

Automotive fluid containers
Ceramic flower pots
Foam plastic, styrofoam
Contaminated cardboard or paper
Window glass and mirrors
Pots and pans
Tyvec plastic envelopes
Construction debris
Plastic bags

What can I do with old paint?

Please go to paintcare.org and follow the steps to find a local drop-off point in Connecticut.

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