Here is a link to “What’s In and What’s Out” for recycling.

ONLY put items in your recycling bin that are listed in the “IN” category. Adding additional items that are not on the list will contaminate the mixed stream. The contaminated items reduce the value of the recyclables or sometimes can make an entire load of recycling become trash. We call this wishful recycling. If you have questions about what is “IN” or why something is “OUT” please email info@hrra.org.

After collection, recycling is brought to a central location (for instance, the New Haven Transfer Station), and then shipped to MRF’s (Material Recovery Facilities), which sort and bail materials. This processed material is then shipped to various markets around the world.

Every residential or commercial location in the city of New Haven should have provision for recycling on the site, or at curbside. If you find that your landlord or garbage collector has not provided for recycling, contact them. If you fail to get an adequate response, contact the New Haven Solid Waste and Recycling Authority at info@nhswra.com and report it.

Recycling is mandatory in the State of Connecticut, and has been since 1991.

The State has adopted various solid waste management requirements to promote recycling of specific material types. Some items are mandated to be recycled pursuant to DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) regulation, state statute, and local ordinance. Examples include bottles, cans, newspaper, cardboard, and Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries. Some items are banned from disposal, such as grass clippings and specific household electronic devices. Other items are prevented from entering the waste stream through product stewardship programs (also known as extended producer responsibility or EPR) which require manufacturers of certain items to develop and/or provide collection systems for their products. Examples of products covered under EPR programs in CT are electronics, paint, mercury thermostats and mattresses. Finally, some items are recycled through a deposit program such as the “Bottle Bill” nickel deposit on specific types of beverage containers and the deposit program for lead acid (automobile) batteries.

More specifically, below is a list of items prevented from being thrown-out in the regular trash due to recycling requirements, disposal bans, EPR programs, deposit programs or a combination of these as noted below. Be aware that many of these items get recycled through more than one waste management system.

Items Designated (i.e. Mandated) for Recycling

  • Glass & Metal Food & Beverage Containers
  • Plastic Containers (PET or PETE #1)
  • Plastic Containers (HDPE #2)
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Boxboard
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • White & Colored Office Paper (residences and businesses)
  • Scrap Metal, including appliances
  • Ni-Cd Rechargeable Batteries (from consumer products)
  • Waste Oil (crankcase oil from internal combustion engines)
  • Leaves (must be composted)
  • Lead Acid Battery or Motor Vehicle Batteries
  • Grass Clippings (should be left on the lawn or, if necessary, composted
  • Commercially Generated Source Separated Organic Materials

Items Banned from Disposal

  • Grass Clippings
  • Household Covered Electronic Devices (televisions, monitors, printers and computers)
  • Lead acid battery or a motor vehicle battery

Items Covered Under a Product Stewardship Program

Items Recycled Through a Deposit Program

  • Certain Beverage Containers
  • Lead-Acid or Motor Vehicle Batteries

Air conditioners contain CFC’s and HFC’s which are very harmful to the environment and so should be disposed of properly. New Haven citizens should not discard window air conditioners as waste, but rather, bring them to the New Haven Transfer Station residential drop-off for safe recycling.

Batteries are not considered to be “single stream recycling,” so cannot be placed in your curbside bin. Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at participating retail collection points including most Wal-Mart, Best Buy Home Depot and Lowe’s stores. They may also be accepted a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Spent non-rechargeable batteries for small devices may be disposed of in regular trash.

Plastic grocery bags are not considered “single stream” recycling items, so cannot be placed in your curbside bin. But they are recyclable and can be brought to some local grocery stores and Lowe’s. Call ahead to specific locations.

Do not throw loose needles into the garbage or curbside recycling. Dispose of used needles and other sharps in a sharps container specifically designed for that purpose. The sealed container can then be placed in your curbside trash bin. Containers may be available from your physician or pharmacist and are sold at medical supply stores and online. There are also “mail-back’ programs, some of which can be found online.

Do not throw your tank in the trash or attempt to remove its safety valve. Doing so could cause an explosion and is a fire hazard. These tanks are not accepted at the New Haven Transfer Station. Used tanks can be taken to HazWaste Central, 90 Sargent Dr., New Haven (seasonal, Saturdays 9-12) or to your local propane dealer or supplier. Blue Rhino of New England recycles and re-certifies old grill tanks for return to the marketplace. Blue Rhino can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart. Some scrap metal dealers also accept these consumer propane tanks.

Motor Oil is accepted at HazWaste Central, 90 Sargent Dr., New Haven (seasonal, Saturdays 9-12).


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