Residential Curbside Recycling

Recycling Program Expands: Single-Stream Accepted

For over 20 years, Monroe County residents have enjoyed a progressive, convenient and continually expanding curbside recycling program. As is its charge from the county, Waste Management, Inc., the Monroe County Recycling Center’s (MCRC) contract operator, examines the waste stream for sustainable recovery opportunities. In 2004, the MCRC began accepting all clean paper--allowing county residents to make a clear and affirmative impact on our local environment. In 2010, the MCRC began accepting plastic containers numbered one through seven for recycling/recovery along with aluminum foil, foilware and household metal pots and pans. Now, the MCRC has started to accept single-stream materials from its recycling collector customers. Single-stream (also called mixed recycling) means that paper materials no longer need to be separated from commingled materials--they can all be mixed together. Click here for a printable version of the flyer below listing items accepted by the MCRC.

Some recycling collectors are not customers of the MCRC. Customers should contact their hauler to confirm what is accepted and how recycling bins should be prepared.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

Acceptable Items in MCRC Recycling Program

  • Metal Food and Beverage Cans: lids are accepted.
  • License Plates: defaced
  • Metal Pots, Pans and Aluminum Foil/Foilware
  • EMPTY Aerosol Cans: with caps. NO pesticides or spray paints.
  • Plastic Containers and Items (#s 1 through 7): reattach and recycle caps, spray pumps and lids. 
  • Glass Food and Beverage Bottles, Jugs and Jars: reattach and recycle lids and caps. No drinking glasses, window glass, pyrex, light bulbs, etc.
  • Gable Top (Milk and Juice) Cartons and Drink/Soup Boxes: remove and throw away plastic straws; reattach caps for recycling.
  • Newspapers, Magazines, Catalogs, etc.
  • Corrugated Cardboard: flattened, 2x4 feet maximum
  • Phone Directories and all Books
  • Paper Boxes—cereal, cracker, soda, tissue, shoe, gift, toy, etc.: flatten box and recycle any plastic liners at grocery store with other plastic bags.
  • Pizza Boxes & Paper Egg Cartons: discard all contents and flatten.
  • Junk Mail, Advertisements and Brochures
  • Home Office Paper, Files, School Papers, etc.: shredded paper in brown paper bags only.
  • All Envelopes: window envelopes too!

Items Not Accepted in MCRC Recycling Program

  • Food or liquid waste
  • Plastic bags*
  • Sharps/Syringes*
  • Clothing*
  • Sytrofoam*
  • Prescription bottles*
  • Cord/Hoses

*The ecopark will accept some of these items. Click here for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where can I get a new/replacement recycling container?

A. Contact your waste collection provider. Containers may be purchased at home improvement stores but always check with your recycling collector first to ensure program compatability.

Q. Should I separate my recyclables using plastic bags?

A. No. Plastic bags, cords, ropes, etc. wrap around recycling machinery causing facility downtime and also contaminate recyclable paper. Plastic bags and product wrapping may be recycled at most large retail outlets.

Q. What type of plastic bags/film can be recycled and where?

A. New York law requires major retailers that offer plastic bags to their customers for purchases take them back for recycling. Many other kinds of plastic bags/wrap should also be included. A recent county residential waste characterization study found that eight percent of household garbage was made up of plastic bags or wrap--much of which could be recycled. Please click here to learn about plastic bags/product wrap recycling and what can and cannot be recycled at the store. If you would like a one-page guide to plastic bag and product wrapping recycling, click here. The Monroe County ecopark also accepts certain clean, dry plastic bags and product wrapping. Click here for details and here for frequently asked questions about recycling plastic bags and product wrap.

Q. Can I recycle caps and lids from containers?

A. Yes. After rinsing, caps and lids should be reattached.

Q. Can Styrofoam egg cartons, coffee cups, and packaging material with a #4 or #6 be recycled?

A. Expanded plastics (trade name Styrofoam) cannot be placed in recycling bins regardless of number. The ecopark will accept some of this material.

Q. Can I place small electronics in my recycling bin or TVs at the curb?

A. Electronics are generally not accepted curbside for recycling or disposal. In fact, it is illegal to dispose of a number of electronics curbside (see DEC regulation.) The ecopark accepts all types of electronics for recycling. Large metal appliances (i.e. white goods) can often be recycled by calling your waste collection provider.

Q. Can I shred personal information before recycling?

A. Yes. The ecopark offers household shredding service and also accepts shredded paper for recycling.

Q. Should I place my recyclables at the curb on very windy days or if a storm is forecast?

A. Recyclables that blow around the neighborhood are littler. Use your good judgement on whether to delay your recycling. 

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