A Review of Separating Trash from Recyclables

Beyond knowing a basic principle that we should always pick up after ourselves meaning to dispose of your trash or recycled items in the proper or designated place or container, it can be good to review the rules of separating trash from recyclables.

A few common errors are:

  • Mixing plastic grocery/shopping bags with co-mingling.

Please DO NOT do this. The main reason is co-mingled items are placed on a conveyor to be sorted, and the plastic bags can twist around and clog the sorting equipment causing mechanical failure.

The plastic bags are recyclable, and the alternative is:

Deliver your plastic bags to the local grocery store or another designated drop off location. Most grocery stores have a drop off container designated for plastic bags. The same rule applies for plastic film or wraps.

For plastic bags, wraps, and film to be recycled they must be clean and dry, and it works best coming from our homes directly to a store drop-off.

  • Caps/lids on plastic bottles mixed in co-mingle.

Please, NO DOT do this. Caps/lids of plastic bottles should be removed and placed in the trash.

Other common items found in co-mingling are clothing, bedding, rope/twine, and hoses and they all cause problems with the sorter. These items should be disposed into the trash.

Our contracted hauler Advance Disposal follows the Tri-County Recycling guidelines. For more details on these guideless and resources for alternative drop-off sites for non-comingle items is found on their website and the link is:


The next link is good information listing specific items on whether it is acceptable for curbside recyclable or trash.


Advance Disposal Service offers an alert you can sign up for. Once you are signed up, this alert will be sent to you when there is a weather issue (delay in service) or will send a reminder when a holiday lands on a Monday that curbside pickup is moved to the following day.


Advance Disposal Service has its own guidelines for our town found at the following link:


Let us all make a better effort to become smarter on the correct methods to recycle and disposing of trash.