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Recycling Program Drop-Off and Curbside

Alice Tempel - Coordinator

(908) 226-7621
Recycling Hot Line (908) 226-7620
email: atempel@southplainfieldnj.com 
Waste Management - www.WM.com







The Yard Waste Site is open from 12 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.  Note that Saturday hours have been extended for residents’ convenience.

Yard Waste is open to Borough residents for disposal of leaves, brush and grass clippings.  A 2017 yard waste decal must be mounted on the driver’s side rear window of the vehicle. All materials should be kept separate.  Ask attendants for help in finding the right pile.  Note that no other materials are accepted.  Weeds, branches thicker than 4 inches, seed pods, garden waste, etc. should be composted at home or arrangements should be made with your garbage hauler or a landscaper.

              For updates, call the Recycling Hotline: (908) 226-7620.  


Be Sure to Sign Up for "My Waste."  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 the Recycling Program, Scroll Past "MY WASTE."





The Mary B. Mazepa South Plainfield Recycling Drop-off Center, is on Kenneth Avenue just past the soccer field. 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, is on winter hours, open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays until March 15.  A current Yard Waste decal must be mounted on the vehicle for access. Decals are available from the Municipal Clerk in Borough Hall or 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 MyWaste box above.

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:

  • Newspaper
  • Mixed Paper
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Glass Bottles and Jars
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Steel Cans
  • Plastic Bottles (SPI Code #1 PET and # 2 HDPE)
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Used Motor Oil
  • Tires
  • Textiles
  • Leaves
  • Brush
  • White Goods
  • Computers, Monitors
  • Televisions 
  • Masonry/Paving Materials

​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 every other week:

  • Paper (newspaper, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard), and
  • bottles and cans (glass bottles and jars,  aluminum cans, steel cans, and plastic bottles with SIC codes #1 - #7).
  • Do not include plastic bags or other plastic films such as dry cleaner bags.Bring these to the collection bins at the local supermarkets, Target or Walmart.   Exception : Put any shredded paper in a clear plastic bag, and close tightly.

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 separate boxes there for cardboard; for newspapers and mixed paper; and for commingled bottles and cans. The Drop-Off Center 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.

Recycling Districts (PDF)
2017 Curbside Recycling Collection Schedule (PDF)

Have 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 Recycling Coordinator (908-226-7621) as soon as you know you have been missed, but within 24 hours. If you call after office hours, leave a message on the answering machine. 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 MyWaste, 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 sees it is not garbage.)

If there is snow on the ground make sure your cans can be reached from the street. The truck driver should not have to climb 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.

Weather Emergencies
Changes in collection schedules due to weather emergencies or other emergency situations will be announced on the following radio stations: WCTC (1450 AM) and WMGQ (98.3 FM). You may also check for changes on this web site or by calling 908-226-7620 for specific information. If you register with MyWaste, 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 2017: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. If your collection day falls on any of these holidays, collection is rescheduled for the following Saturday. Note: Other municipal Public Works holidays do NOT affect the recycling collection schedule.


South Plainfield’s Recycling Drop-Off Center is located at the end of 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. Most recyclables that are collected curbside – newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard (flattened), glass bottles, aluminum/steel/ tin cans, plastic containers #1 and #2 – are accepted. Note that recyclables must be kept separated at the Recycling Center Drop-Off Center. We have separate boxes for: Bottles and Cans, Corrugated Cardboard, and Mixed Office Paper/Newspaper.

For residents only, NO businesses: Used clothes, used motor oil (up to 5 gallons), household rechargeable batteries, left-over paint (3rd Saturday of every month only), appliances, computers, monitors, TVs and scrap metal are also accepted. Not accepted: propane tanks, non-recyclable items or any hazardous waste.


The Yard Waste Site located at the end of Kenneth Avenue past the Recycling Center, is open 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:

  • March 16-December 24: Tuesday 12 noon-7 p.m; Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Leaf Season additional hours Mid-November through Mid-December: Monday - Friday 8 a.m.- 3 p.m,; Tuesday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • December 26-March 15: Saturday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Leaves: are collected at the curb from November 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 further information.

Brush: twigs, branches up to 4 inches in diameter and shrubs must be recycled. Bring brush tied or loose. Do not leave plastic bags in the pile.

Grass clippings: may be brought to the Yard Waste Site. 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) 30 gallon bags or cans 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. Contact the Recycling Coordinator at 908-226-7621 or atempel@southplainfieldnj.com  for more information.

Note: each 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 (e.g., the Erika Lynn Foundation boxes at the Community Pool parking lot).

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. Keep all HHW items separate.The Recycling Center does not accept any king of Household Hazardous Waste; bring these to a Middlesex County HHW event.

White Goods:
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 (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 Freon to escape into the air. Freon erodes the stratospheric ozone layer, allowing dangerous UV radiation to reach the Earth's surface. It is against Federal Law to vent Freon into the air, it must be recycled.

Fluorescent Lights,Computers Monitors, 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, computers and monitors from residents.  Most supermarkets accept used plastic bags and other kinds of plastic film from residents.

Fluorescent Bulbs:
We cannot accept fluorescent bulbs at the Recycling Center.  The County takes residents' fluorescent bulbs at the Household Hazardous Waste Collections.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:
Home Depot and Lowe's recycle compact fluorescent bulbs. Click here for more info.

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.  The Public Library accepts cell phones.

Note: Due to State regulations, put a piece of electrical tape over each terminal or put each battery in a separate plastic bag.

Do not bring alkaline batteries. These no longer contain mercury and should be discarded with your regular household trash.

Laser Printer Cartridges:
The Public Library collects used printer cartridges for recycling.

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 takes bulky waste such as carpet, furniture and lumber for disposal in the landfill. To register your vehicle for admission, see the Municipal Clerk at Borough Hall (908-226-7605) or the Public Works Department at 405 Spicer Avenue (908-755-2187).

Call the Public Works Department at 908-755-2187 for  information about the Compactor schedule, or to make an appointment for a curbside bulky waste pickup.  


For information about the following programs, go to the Middlesex County website and click on the "Residents" tab; then select "Recycling Programs." www.co.middlesex.nj.us


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.

Household Hazardous Waste:

The 2017 HHW collection schedule is:

Sunday March 19- Middlesex County College, Edison

Saturday May 20 - Middlesex County Highway Division, North Brunswick

Friday July 21 - Piscataway Vo-Tech

Saturday September 16 - Woodbridge Public Works

Sunday October 15 - Old Bridge Public Works

Sunday November 19 - Middlesex County College, Edison


Tire Recycling:

Middlesex County Tire Recycling Program (Metuchen Recycling Center)
Middlesex County Residents only (Proof of Residency Required)

Note: The Metuchen Recycling Center is located on Jersey Avenue off Durham Avenue in Metuchen, 732-632-8519

Backyard Compost Bins

Compost bins are available at subsidized prices through Middlesex County:
Also check the site for announcements of workshops on how to compost in your own backyard.

Paper Shredding 

Middlesex County runs a Paper Shredding Program to allow residents to recycle confidential paper. The next event in South Plainfield will be held September 23, 2017.  Contact the Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Management for  events in other towns during 2016 (732-745-4170 or solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us  or visit the County's website. Or, see the the events posted on your MyWaste calendar.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

In addition to 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 have 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 a copy of  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.

Other County Programs:  Middlesex County Recycling and Solid Waste Guide

Middlesex County Solid Waste Management

Click on "Residents" and then on "Recycling".


Borough of South Plainfield
2480 Plainfield Avenue    South Plainfield NJ 07080