Recycle Right!

Recycle Right!
Posted on 07/09/2019
Recycle Right!

In the Township of Montclair’s ongoing efforts to improve our recycling program, Environmental Affairs reminds residents to “Recycle Right,” by placing only the proper recyclable items at your curb or drop-off for collection.

Our recyclables are a commodity we deliver to a recycling vendor, who separates them by material and then finds brokers to whom they can market that material. We have a contract with our vendor defining exactly what they can accept, and therefore, what we can collect and deliver to them. Putting any items out for collection other than what we have contracted for will contaminate the load, reducing the value of our recyclables.

Plus, any materials we deliver that are unwanted by our vendor are then picked out and hauled away as garbage anyway; this means that instead of proper disposal of unrecyclable items as solid waste, we have instead doubled the amount of fuel, pollution, and emissions needed for it to still end up at the Essex Incinerator or in a landfill.

In Montclair, we collect two separate categories, or “streams”, of household recyclables: 1) Mixed Paper, including newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office paper, boxes, cardboard, and most other clean, dry paper; and, 2) Commingled, which is composed of bottles, jugs, jars, cans, and cups made of metal, glass, and certain plastics.

We can only accept plastic containers marked #1, #2, or #5 (found in the recycling logo on the bottom of all plastic food, beverage, and personal care product containers). Virtually all plastic bottles and jugs are marked #1 or #2, and #5 is typically found in yogurt cups, and some take-out and other food containers.

Importantly, plastic bags clog up our vendor’s recycling separation equipment, just like hair clogs up the rollers of your vacuum cleaner, so those bags must never be placed in your recycling bin. You can recycle plastic bags at your local supermarket’s drop-off container. These are collected and processed separately to make “down-cycled” products like decking, chairs, and benches.

Remember to always “Recycle Right!” When in doubt, throw it out!

For questions about what – or why – we recycle, contact Environmental Affairs at 973-509-5721; recycling info is also on the Township website. For collection issues, residents can call the Department of Community Services: 973-509-5711.