Start Recycling

Residents

Determine who will pick up your recyclables. Consult your municipality’s page on this site, or call or visit your municipal office to find out whether there is a municipal pick-up, single hauler, private contract with a hauler, or some other arrangement. If you have a choice of private haulers, you may want to consider details like what materials they take, how materials should be sorted and set out, and frequency of pick-up in addition to cost. If you want to recycle materials that your hauler does not collect, try searching for a drop-off.

Get a recycling bin. Your hauler may provide you with a bin or wheeled cart when you sign up for service. If your hauler does not provide a bin, most municipalities offer them for free or for a small fee. Some municipalities or haulers allow you to use a container of your choice as long as it is clearly marked according to their guidelines.

Set up recycling containers in your home. Choose how many containers to use based on how your recycling hauler requires materials to be sorted. Make it easy by putting containers near where you will be using the materials (e.g., a container for paper in your home office, and a container for cans and bottles in your kitchen) and by posting a list of recyclable materials near the recycling containers and near your trash can. Make sure all members of your family are aware of how to properly sort recyclables according to your hauler’s guidelines.

Place your recyclables at the curb. Put your recyclables into the curbside bin and put it out at the curb the night before (or early the morning of) your pick-up day. If you are using a drop-off rather than curbside pick-up, check the hours of the drop-off, bag your recyclables according to the site’s guidelines, and take them to the drop-off as needed.

Businesses

Assess your trash. Determine the types and amounts of recyclable materials your company is throwing away so you can choose the type of recycling service you need.

Determine who is responsible for making recycling arrangements. If your business is located in a complex or is part of a condo association, there may already be recycling bins in place that your business is permitted to use. If you have a landlord or property manager, check your lease to determine whether they are responsible for recycling arrangements or if you are. If your landlord is responsible for recycling arrangements but does not provide them, ask them to begin and point out that they are required to according to the lease.

If you have large amounts of recyclable materials, contact some of the haulers that provide service in your municipality. Check the municipal pages on this site to find contact information for haulers that operate in your municipality, or ask your trash hauler if they will also do a recycling pick-up. Based on your information about what types of recyclables your business produces, the hauler should be able to help you determine what size container and frequency of pick-up is best for you.

If you have small amounts of recyclables, you may not be able to find a hauler that is willing to make a stop to pick up your recyclables. If that is the case, you have several options:

Check with other nearby businesses to see if you can arrange to share a recycling dumpster and share the cost.
Look for a drop-off in your community that will accept your materials. Many drop-offs will accept commercial materials, but be aware that a few are limited to residential materials, so you may want to call first before bringing your materials to the site.
If your business has very small amounts of recyclable materials, you can take the recycling home and put it in your home recycling bin, even if your business is not located in your home. You can do this even if your home and business are not in the same municipality. You can also request that employees take home personal recyclables, such as soda cans they bring in.