What You Can and Cannot Put in a Recycling Bin in Connecticut

The rules on recycling are now standard across the state of Connecticut, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and there is now an instant source of information about what you can and cannot put in your recycling bin. 


“We worked closely with recycling coordinators in our cities and towns and the six facilities in our state that accept recycled material to get everyone on the same page,” Robert Klee, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said in a statement. “With one set of rules in place everywhere, it’s now easier to provide people with the information they need to recycle more effectively.” 

The website offer a mobile-friendly widget that provides a quick answer to questions about what can be recycled and what can’t, short videos to highlight recycling issues and material that cities and towns can download and print to share with their residents. 

“When unacceptable items are placed in the recycling bin, it causes problems at the recycling facilities and also reduces the value of recycling materials,” Klee said. “This diminishes the effectiveness of our recycling efforts because recycling is not just about collecting material – it is about making sure those materials are captured and made into new products.” 

For instance, bottle caps can be recycled if they are on the bottle, but loose caps should be put in the trash. 

Pizza boxes can be recycled of there are no food or liners in them. 

Shredded paper should remain out of the recycling bin and should be put in the trash because dust shredded paper creates causes issues at recycling facilities. 

Paper cups should not be recycled. Instead they should be thrown away. 

Plastic bags should remain out of recycling bins and the trash and should instead be kept separate and taken back to one of the many retail locations that accept them.

For specific items, see here.

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