Recycling Hot Line (908) 226-7620
The Memorial Day holiday will not affect the Recycling Program schedules. The Recycling Complex will be open as usual on Saturday, May 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for recyclables and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brush, leaves and grass.
The holiday will not affect the curbside collection schedule.
YARD WASTE SITE SUMMER HOURS
March 14 - October 14
Tuesday 12 - 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Yard Waste Decal must be mounted on vehicle for admittance. Available from the Municipal Clerk's office and the Borough Garage. Bring vehicle registration. No commercial vehicles will be permitted.
Note: schedules are subject to change in the event of weather or other emegencies or capacity exceedance.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD RECYCLING PROGRAM COVID 19 POLICY
MASKING IS NOT REQUIRED AT THE RECYCLING COMPLEX BUT WE RECOMMEND CAUTION: USE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Please be considerate of your neighbors and our staff: Continue to practice social distancing. Ask for help unloading if you need it. If you don't, do your own unloading. Be sure you know what material goes where, and ask for help with that if you are not sure.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY ANNOUNCES ENFORCEMENT POLICY
The Middlesex County Improvement Authority, announced in October 2018 that the County recycling program can no longer accept plastic bags. Recyclables must be loose in the recycling bin. Bagged recyclables will be left at the curb.
This is not a program change. Our Guide to Recycling brochures have always stated that plastic bags are not allowed. However, the companies that have picked up our recyclables have not enforced this. They were able to deliver their loads to sorting facilities that accepted them, because they in turn were able to sell baled recyclables overseas, even with significant amounts of trash mixed in.
Due to changes in world geopolitcal and economic conditions, it is no long possible to market recyclables that include prohibited materials like plastic bags.
NOTE: as of January 2020, pizza boxes are no longer accepted for recycling. Please discard these in the trash.
NOTE: as of January 2020, shredded paper is not accepted at the curb or at the Recycling Center. To ensure confidential papers are recycled, bring them to a Middlesex County Paper Shred event . If you shred at home, discard the shredded paper with your household trash.
NOTE: as of February 2021, collection crews are enforcing the rule that cardboard boxes must be flattened and tied up in bundles no larger than 4 ft x 4 ft x 1 ft high. This rule has been in effect since the curbside program began in 1995.
We urge residents to review the list of acceptable materials below and to include only these in the blue bins.
Be Sure to Sign Up for "RecycleCoach." You can have reminders sent to your device about when to set out your bins, special events like Hazardous Waste Collections and Paper Shred Events, and storm cancelations. You can check with "What Goes Where?" to find out whether an item you need to dispose of is recyclable or trash.
For Detailed Information About our Recycling Program, Scroll Past "Recycle Coach."
SOUTH PLAINFIELD RECYCLING PROGRAM
The Mary B. Mazepa South Plainfield Recycling Drop-off Center is just past the soccer field, at 882 Kenneth Avenue. It is open 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The South Plainfield Yard Waste Site, at the end of Kenneth Avenue, has variable hours depending on the season, listed below. A current Yard Waste decal must be mounted on the vehicle for access. Decals are available from the Municipal Clerk in Borough Hall at 2480 Plainfield Avenue and from the Road Department at 405 Spicer Ave. Bring the registration of the vehicle you will be using.
Curbside recyclables collection is done every other week. See the links to the collection calendar and the collection districts below or click on "My Schedule" in the RecycleCoach box above.
Note: schedules are subject to change in the event of weather or other emegencies or capacity exceedance.
For updates, call the Recycling Hotline: (908) 226-7620.
Middlesex County and Borough ordinances mandate that the following items must be recycled by residents and businesses instead of being sent to the landfill:
Mandatory for Businesses only:
- Fluorescent Bulbs
- Plastic Film
- Wood Scrap
Businesses are responsible for separating and marketing their own recyclables. The Recycling Center is open to Borough businesses but has limited capacity. For more information, call the Recycling Coordinator (908-226-7621).
South Plainfield's curbside recycling program is "single-stream." Our recyclables go to a sorting facility. Therefore, we do not need to keep our bottles and cans separate from our paper. You can mix all of your recyclables together. If you wish, you can keep paper separated from bottles and cans, but they will be collected together in one truck. Do not set recyclables at the curb in plastic bags. Materials must be collected loose for sorting. PLEASE PUT ONLY THE RECYCLABLES LISTED BELOW IN YOUR BIN. ITEMS THAT ARE NOT ON THE LIST WILL NOT BE RECYCLED.
Put the following recyclable items at the curb for pickup by 6:00 a.m. every other week:
- Paper (newspaper, mixed paper [mail, magazines, catalogs, soft-covered books, cereal box-type carboard, etc.]; corrugated cardboard). Do not include shredded paper or food-stained paper like pizza boxes and used paper plates.
- Bottles and cans (glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, steel cans, and plastic bottles with SIC codes #1 and #2*)
- Do not include plastic bags or other plastic films such as dry cleaner bags. Bring these to the collection bins at the local supermarkets.
If you plan to use the Borough's Recycling Drop-Off Center on Kenneth Avenue, you should continue to separate your recyclables because we have one box there for cardboard, another for newspapers and mixed paper, and a different box for commingled bottles and cans. The Drop-Off Center also takes only SIC code #1 and #2* plastic bottles (e.g.... soda bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles) in the commingled mix, no other kinds of plastic or food packaging. Plastic that is not a bottle goes in your household trash.
*SIC Code: the number in the triangle on the bottom of a plastic container that tells what kind of plastic resin the item is made of. We previously were accepting all numbers from 1-7, but due to changing market conditions, we can now accept only #1 and #2 plastic bottles (no food trays, clam shells, cups, tubs, etc.)
Recycling Districts (pdf)
Put your recyclables at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on your collection day. You can set them out the night before after 7:00 p.m. If your recyclables are not collected when scheduled, call the Borough's Recycling Coordinator (908-226-7621) or the MCIA Recycling Program Coordinator (1-800-488-6242) within 24 hours. If you call after office hours, leave a message. You can also report a miss to the South Plainfield Recycling Hotline (908-226-7620). Neither Borough line is monitored on weekends. Note that we can send the driver back if he missed you, but not if you missed putting your bins out on time. If you register with RecycleCoach, you can have reminders sent to you by text or email.
Please consider the weather. In windy conditions, try to put heavier material on top of lighter material to keep it from blowing out of your containers. Mark your address on the cans so you can retrieve them if they blow away. We now have lids that fit the blue bins. See the Municipal Clerk to purchase a lid ($3). (For the blue bins only. If you are using a garbage can instead of a blue recycling bin, leave it uncovered so the driver can see it is not garbage.)
If there is snow on the ground, make sure your cans can be reached from the street. The crew will not climb or reach over piles of snow. If the plows pile the snow up in front of your recyclables the driver may not even see them. If the weather is going to create problems, consider using the Borough's Recycling Center on Kenneth Avenue that week or keep your materials for the next scheduled pickup.
Changes in collection schedules due to weather emergencies or other emergency situations will be announced on the following radio stations: WCTC (1450 AM), WMGQ (98.3 FM) and 101.5 FM. You may also check for changes on this web site, or at NJ1015.com; or by calling 908-226-7620 for specific information. You an reach Middlesex County at 1-800-488-6246 or email@example.com . If you register with RecycleCoach, you can choose to have notifications sent to you by email or text. If your collection is canceled due to a storm, your recyclables will be picked up on the following Saturday.
Recycling Collection Holidays
Recycling collection holidays for 2022: None of the major holidays fall on collection days in 2022. Other holidays observed by the Borough do not affect curbside collection.
If the recycling truck cannot get down your street because road construction is blocking access, your bins will be emptied on the immediately following Saturday if the road is clear then.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD MARY B. MAZEPA DROP-OFF CENTER
South Plainfield’s Recycling Drop-Off Center is open to Borough residents and businesses. It is located at 882 Kenneth Avenue, just past the soccer field. Hours of operation are Tuesdays, 12 noon-7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The recyclables that are collected curbside – newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard (flattened), glass bottles, aluminum/steel/tin cans, plastic bottles #1 and #2 – are accepted at the drop-off also. Note that recyclables must be kept separated at the Recycling Drop-Off Center. We collect Bottles and Cans, Corrugated Cardboard, and Mixed Office Paper / Newspaper in separate containers.
For residents only, NO businesses: Used clothes, used motor oil (up to 5 gallons), used cooking oil, household rechargeable batteries, cell phones, left-over paint (3rd Saturday of every month only), appliances, computers, monitors, printers/fax machines, TVs and scrap metal. Not accepted: propane tanks, non-recyclable items or any hazardous waste.
YARD WASTE SITE
The Yard Waste Site located at the end of Kenneth Avenue past the Recycling Center, is open only to residents. A yard waste decal must be mounted on the driver's side rear window. Decals are available at the Municipal Clerk's Office Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and from the Department of Pubic Works, 7:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Only residents' vehicles with general registration plates are allowed on the site; NO commercial vehicles.
Hours of Operation:
SUMMER (March 14 – October 14)
Tuesday 12 – 7 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
LEAF SEASON (October 16 – December 16)
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WINTER (December 19 – March 14, 2023)
Saturday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Leaves: collected at the curb from mid-October to mid-December. Leaves must be placed in biodegradable paper bags for curbside collection. Leaves may be brought to the Yard Waste Site. Do not leave plastic bags in the leaf pile. Call 908-755-2187 for more information.
Brush: twigs, branches up to 4 inches in diameter and shrubs must be recycled at the Yard Waste Site. Bring brush tied or loose. Do not leave plastic bags in pile.
Grass clippings: may be brought to the Grass Box Spot next to the Trash Compactor. Bring grass loose or in bags and empty into the grass container. Do not leave plastic bags in the grass box.
No more than three (3) cans or 30-gallon bags accepted.
We urge you to use Cut-It and Leave-It lawn care instead of bagging. It saves time and money, improves your turf and reduces the negative environmental impacts of lawn care. A mulching blade on your mower and a more frequent mowing schedule is really all it takes. Clippings do not cause thatch. They break down quickly and send nutrients back into the soil. Consider that turf maintenance on golf courses is done cut-it-and-leave-it. Can you imagine bagging all the clippings from mowing a gof course? Contact the Recycling Coordinator at 908-226-7621 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Note: each kind of yard waste material must be kept separate. Ask attendant for assistance and instructions about where to put materials.
Note: This site is permitted to accept brush, leaves and grass clippings only. Do not leave trash such as plastic debris, flower pots, or lumber in any of the piles. Do not include other kinds of vegetative waste. Weeds, garden plants, sod, straw, fruit, seeds and nuts should be composted at home or set out as garbage.
South Plainfield's Recycling Complex is closed Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and on all Borough Holidays.
Used Textiles: (mandatory recyclable)
Bring clothing and other textiles such as sheets, towels, etc. to the Recycling Center, or use any of the clothing drop boxes located around town. Put clothing in plastic bags and tie securely before placing in drop box. Bring fabric textiles only. DO NOT INCLUDE non-cloth items such as shoes, childrens toys, or baby carseats.
Motor Oil: (mandatory recyclable)
Residents can bring used motor oil to the Recycling Center or County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection days . DO NOT place used motor oil for pickup at the curb. The Recycling Center does not accept any kind of Household Hazardous Waste; bring these to a Middlesex County HHW event .
Used Cooking Oil
Residents can bring used cooking oil to the Recycling Center. DO NOT place used cooking oil for pickup at the curb. Only liquid vegetable oil may be poured into the tank: no shortening, coconut oil, lard, pan drippings or motor oil. Ask an attendant for assistance. Ask for a free reusable one-gallon plastic jug for storing cooking oil at home.
Metal appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators (remove doors and plastic shelves). Put out for a curbside Bulky Waste by-appointment pickup or bring to the Recycling Center. You may also bring scrap metal or other items that are nearly all metal (first remove all fuel and fluids from lawnmowers, remove tires from bicycles, etc.) See attendant for assistance. DO NOT bring propane tanks.
Be careful when handling refrigerators and air conditioners. Do not damage coils or allow the coolant to escape into the air. CFCs erode the stratospheric ozone layer, allowing dangerous UV radiation to reach the Earth's surface. It is against Federal Law to vent CFC into the air, it must be recycled.
Fluorescent Lights,Computers, Monitors, Printers/Faxes, Televisions, Wood Scrap, Plastic Film:
These are mandatory recyclables for businesses. Residents also are required to recycle computers and televisions. The South Plainfield Recycling Center accepts TVs,printers/faxes, computers and monitors from residents. Give these materials directly to a recycling center attendant. Do not bring plastic film to the drop-off center. Most supermarkets accept used plastic bags and other kinds of plastic film from residents. The Recycling Center does not accept wood scrap.
We can accept fluorescent lamps at the Recycling Center from residents. GIve tubes directly to a recycling center attendent; do not leave unattended. The County also takes residents' fluorescent bulbs at the Household Hazardous Waste Collections.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:
We accept CFL's at the Recycling Center. Home Depot and Lowe's also recycle compact fluorescent bulbs.
Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones:
The South Plainfield Recycling Center accepts cell phones and household batteries (lithium, Ni-cad rechargeable and button batteries). You can also bring cell phones and batteries to the Environmental Dept. in the Municipal Building, 2480 Plainfield Avenue.
Note: Due to State Department of Transportation regulations, put a piece of electrical or clear packing tape over each terminal or put each battery in a separate plastic bag.
Do not bring alkaline batteries. These no longer contain mercury and can be discarded with your regular household trash.
Staples accepts empty cartridges.
Masonry/Paving Materials: The Borough does not accept concrete, brick, or block. Call the Municipal Recycling Coordinator 908-226-7621 for information on how to recycle.
The Borough Trash Compactor on Kenneth Avenue is open periodically. See the Department of Public Works page for the schedule. For a curbside Bulk Waste appointment, call the Public Works Department at 908-755-2187. Bulk Waste includes furniture, carpet, lumber and other materials that cannot be either recycled or discarded with your household garbage.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY PROGRAMS
For information about the following programs, go to the Middlesex County website .
Middlesex County Paint Drop Program (South Plainfield Recycling Center)
3rd Saturday of every month 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m, Middlesex County Residents only (Proof of Residency Required)
Keep oil-based paint separate from latex paint. We also take thinners, stains and varnishes. You can discard empty, dry cans in your trash.
2023 Household Hazardous Waste:
Sunday March 19, Middlesex College, Edison - 2600 Woodbridge Ave 08837
Saturday May 20, Middlesex County Highway Dept - North Brunswick - 97 Apple Orchard Lane 08902
Sunday June 25, Old Bridge Public Works - 1 Old Bridge Plaza 08857
Saturday September 30, Middlesex County Highway Dept, Sayreville - 750 Jernee Mill Road 08872
Sunday November 19, Middlesex College, Edison - 2600 Woodbridge Ave 08837
All times are 8am-2pm.
Middlesex County Tire Recycling Program (Woodbridge Department of Public Works)
Middlesex County Residents only (Proof of Residency Required)
The Woodbridge Township DPW is located 225 Smith Street, Keasbey 08832 (under the Garden State Parkway and Route 9 bridges. Open Monday - Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
The County also has tire trailers in East Brunswick, Sayreville and Plainsboro. Call 732-745-4170 for hours and directions.
Backyard Compost Bins
Compost bins are available at subsidized prices through Middlesex County. Call 732-745-4170 for information. Also check the Midddlesex County website for announcements of workshops on how to compost in your own backyard. You can see examples of composting bins at South Plainfield's Highland Woods Nature Center, at 115 Sylvania Place.
Middlesex County runs a Paper Shredding Program to allow residents to recycle confidential paper. Contact the Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Management for events during 2023 (732-745-4170 or email@example.com) , or visit the County's website . Or, see the events posted on your RecycleCoach calendar.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Even better than recycling, proper solid waste management includes reducing the amount of waste you produce and reusing what you can instead of throwing it away. South Plainfield’s Recycling Office frequently gets inquiries from residents who need to dispose of items that are in good condition. “It’s a perfectly good refrigerator; it’s a shame to just junk it.” “Do you know anybody who would want a collection of text books on electrical engineering?” “My aunt passed away and she has all these cosmetics, mostly not even opened. I hate to just throw them out.”
The Recycling Office has The New Reuse it Book, Middlesex County's Donation Recycling Directory. The booklet is a compilation of charitable organizations, consignment shops, nursing homes, animal shelters and others seeking used, usable goods. An index lists the items, from Appliances to Typewriters, and cross-references the establishments seeking them. The latest edition is available online at www.mciauth.com .
Other County Programs: Middlesex County Recycling and Solid Waste Guide
Middlesex County Solid Waste Management
2023 SP Curbside Schedule and Rules (pdf)
Recycling Report 2022 (pdf)
Recycling Report Form 2022 (pdf)
Middlesex County Solid Waste Management
Middlesex County Improvement Authority