As before, glass bottles and jars, cans, newspaper, mixed paper and cardboard, if clean, go to the recycling bin. While the main recyclable materials have remained the same, some municipalities have different specifications for what is acceptable. Curbside recycling programs follow the same basic rules throughout New Jersey, and your local program may include additional materials. The fact is that these non-recyclable items were never supposed to be placed in your recycling bin.

Because end markets for recyclables have tightened their standards for the recyclables they purchase, the presence of moisture from food and liquid waste in containers has become a major problem. However, if the box is completely clean, with no food waste or oil, it can be recycled into the curbside mix. Similar laws on recycled content are already in place in several states, including Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, California and Washington. Download the free Recycle Coach app to receive notices and schedules about your local and county recycling programs in a convenient mobile format.

For years, nearly half of the plastics collected in recycling bins in the United States were sent to China for processing. The bottom line is that the costs associated with recycling will increase, and so will the cost of disposing of all waste. It’s been 35 years since former Governor Tom Kean signed a mandatory recycling law to reduce the amount of metal, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard sent to landfills and incinerators.

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