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Essex County Recycling FAQ

1. What am I required to recycle as a resident in Essex County?
2. Does my municipality have a central drop-off location for recyclable materials?
3. Is there a centralized drop-off for recyclables in the County?
4. Am I required to recycle in my office located in Essex County? If so, what should my office
be recycling?
5. Who should I contact if my office is not recycling or is recycling some, but not all materials mandated by the County?
6. I live in an apartment/condo complex. Am I required to recycle?
7. I live in an apartment/condo complex, but I have not been provided with a separate recycling container and/or my complex does not offer separate recycling dumpsters. What should I do?
8. I was recently in an Essex County Park/Golf Course and didn’t see any recycling receptacles. Isn’t recycling mandatory in parks too?
9. I’m a student at an Essex County college/university and would like to get my school more active inrecycling. What should I do?
10. I have a propane tank I would like to get rid of. Where can I bring it?
11. I just changed the oil in my car. Where can I bring this waste oil?
12. I have a computer/computer monitor/television that I would like to get rid of. Does the County take these items?
13. Can envelopes with plastic “windows” be recycled?
14. Can packing “peanuts” and bubble wrap be recycled?
15. What types of plastics and plastic bags can be recycled?
16. I have a can of left-over Latex Paint and am unsure about how to properly dispose of it. What measures need to be taken?
17. I’ve seen a variety of different recycling symbols using arrows on many different products.  What do they all mean?


Q.  What am I required to recycle as a resident in Essex County?

A. See our “Mandatory Recyclable Materials” page for a complete listing. Note, your municipality may mandate additional materials, above and beyond those mandated by Essex County. Please see our “Municipal Recycling Coordinators Contact” page for specific information about your municipality.


Q.  Does my municipality have a central drop-off location for recyclable materials?

A. Many municipalities offer Recycling Centers, but please refer to our “Mandatory Recyclable Materials” page for specific information about your municipality.


Q.  Is there a centralized drop-off for recyclables in the County?

A. Essex County does not maintain a central recycling center for the County. Instead, many municipalities maintain their own recycling centers that are open to residents. Please refer to our “Municipal Recycling Coordinators Contact” page for links to your specific municipality.


Q.  Am I required to recycle in my office located in Essex County? If so, what should my office be recycling?

A. Yes, recycling is mandatory in all office buildings located within Essex County. See our “Mandatory Recyclable Materials” page for a complete listing of items to be recycled. Note, your municipality may mandate additional materials, above and beyond those mandated by Essex County. Please see our “Municipal Recycling Coordinators Contact” page for specific information about your municipality.


Q.  Who should I contact if my office is not recycling or is recycling some, but not all materials mandated by       the County?

A. Recycling is mandatory in all office buildings within Essex County. If, through your company’s chain of command and building manager, a complete recycling program is not instituted, then any of the following can be contacted:

Essex County Health Department, ecdohceha@admin.essexcountynj.org, 973.497.9401
Tara Casella, Essex County Environmental Center, tcasella@parks.essexcountynj.org, 973.228.8776


Q.  I live in an apartment/condo complex. Am I required to recycle?

A. Yes, all residents in Essex County, regardless of their housing situation, are mandated to recycle. See our “Mandatory Recyclable Materials” page for a complete listing of items to be recycled.


Q.  I live in an apartment/condo complex, but I have not been provided with a separate recycling container
      and/or my complex does not offer separate recycling dumpsters. What should I do?

A. You should first ask your apartment/condo owner/association about the recycling program. If you are not satisfied, your Municipal Recycling Coordinator should be contacted. Please refer to our “Municipal Recycling Coordinators Contact” page for whom to contact from your municipality. Your recycling coordinator will contact the Essex County Health Department if further action is warranted.


Q.  I was recently in an Essex County Park/Golf Course and didn’t see any recycling receptacles. Isn’t
      recycling mandatory in parks too?

A. As mandated by the 2006 Essex County Solid Waste Management Plan Update, all County facilities must recycle. The County is currently in the process of outfitting all of the County parks and golf courses with recycling receptacles in parking areas, near trailheads and along paved footpaths. Temporary recycling receptacles are currently made available during the Summer Music Concert Series.


Q.  I’m a student at an Essex County college/university and would like to get my school more active in
      recycling. What should I do?

A. The first step would be to determine if your school has an environmental/nature club and see if they would be interested in helping the cause. Professors in environmental and science departments are also a good starting point. If interest is strong enough, your school should consider participating in RecycleMania!, a fast-growing national recycling competition among colleges and universities to achieve the best recycling rate in a number of categories. Any of the following can also provide assistance:

Tara Casella, Essex County Environmental Center, tcasella@parks.essexcountynj.org, 973.228.8776
Essex County Health Department, ecdohceha@admin.essexcountynj.org, 973.497.9401


Q.  I have a propane tank I would like to get rid of. Where can I bring it?

A. Thanks to the generous annual Tonnage Grant provided by NJ Department of Environment Protection to Essex County, the County is able to provide two Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days, in May and October, both held at the Essex County Fleet Maintenance Facility at 99 West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove. Propane tanks are accepted at these semi-annual events. Please see our “Events” page for specific dates and our “Directions” page for detailed directions.


Q.  I just changed the oil in my car. Where can I bring this waste oil?

A. Many municipalities in Essex County have waste oil tanks for residents to use at their recycling centers and/or public works facilities. Please see our “Municipal Recycling Coordinators Contact” page for specific information about your municipality. If your local recycling center/public works department does not provide this service to residents, your used motor oil can be disposed at the semi-annual Essex County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days, in May and October, both at the Essex County Fleet Maintenance Facility at 99 West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove. Please see our “Events” page for specific dates and our “Directions” page for detailed directions. Many service stations also accept waste oil, but may charge a fee for disposal.


Q.  I have a computer/computer monitor/television that I would like to get rid of. Does the County take
      these items?

A. Thanks to the generous annual Tonnage Grant provided by NJ Department of Environment Protection to Essex County, the County is able to provide two Computer and Electronics Recycling Collection Days, in May and October, both held at either the Richard J. Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange or the Essex County Fleet Maintenance Facility at 99 West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove. Computers, monitors, television sets, along with a number of other electronic devices, are accepted at these semi-annual events. Please see our “Events” page for specific dates and our “Directions” page for detailed directions.


Q.  Can envelopes with plastic “windows” be recycled?

A. Yes, such envelopes can and should be recycled with “Junk Mail” and disposed of with your other municipal recyclable material.


Q.  Can packing “peanuts” and bubble wrap be recycled?

A. Many packing/shipping stores, such as The UPS Store and FedEx Kinko’s, accept these materials in their packaging processes. Please see our “Links” page for UPS and FedEx location finders.


Q.  What types of plastics and plastic bags can be recycled?

A. You must first determine the category (or type) of plastic. This information is usually found on the bottom of plastic containers in or near a recycling triangle. The County only recycles #1 (PET or PETE) or #2 (HDPE). Numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 can be recycled, but not through the County program. Plastic bags (of all types) can also be recycled, but only in a receptacle designated for plastic bags. You must empty #1 and #2 plastics from any bag into a proper recycling container, and recycle the plastic bag separately or recycle the paper.

For additional information on types of plastic and related recycling symbols, please see:
"Recycling Symbols – Decoded"


Q.  I have a can of left-over Latex Paint and am unsure about how to properly dispose of it. What
      measures need to be taken?

A. Latex Paint is not accepted at the semi-annual Essex County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days (Oil-based Paint is, however). Instead, residents of the County are encouraged to remove the lid from the Latex Paint can and allow the paint to air dry in a well ventilated area (cat litter, saw-dust and shredded newspaper can be added to the contents of the can to speed the drying process). Once the paint has solidified within the container, it can be disposed of with your regular household trash.


Q.  I’ve seen a variety of different recycling symbols using arrows on many different products. What do
      they all mean?

A. A summary of some of the different “chasing arrows” symbols are explained on the
"Recycling Symbols – Decoded" page.




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