Return To City Homepage Menu is below
  • ONLINE SERVICES
  • FORMS
  • CALENDARS
  • EMERGENCY INFO
  • InfoNewHaven
  • Return Home

  • Sidemenu Header
    Green New Haven Logo

    Welcome to the Office of Sustainability's website!

    What is Sustainability?

    Sustainability entails meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, by making social and economic challenges compatible with environmental responsibility. For more information on the office, click here.

    Recycling FAQs

    Why Recycle Anyway?

    Recycling improves the environment in many ways:

    • Recycling diverts materials from going in the landfill, thereby extending landfill life.
    • Recycling conserves natural resources, such as timber, water and mineral ores.
    • Methane is a major greenhouse gas generated in solid waste landfills. Recycling reduces the need for landfills.
    • Supplying recycled materials to an industry uses less energy than supplying virgin materials that incur extra extraction and transportation costs.
    • Manufacturing with recycled materials, with very few exceptions, produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing with virgin materials.
    • The State of Connecticut has set a 58% recycling goal by 2024. Visit the CT State Waste Management Plan
    • It costs the City $87.50 to dispose of a ton of garbage versus $36.80 per ton of recycling. This amounts to a net savings of $50.70 per ton diverted to recycling.

    Information about Electronics Recycling can be found here.

    Does New Haven have a recycling program for single family homes and town homes, and how does it work? Can I recycle if I live in an apartment or condominium?

    New Haven operates a single-stream program, which includes once a week recycling and once a week trash collection for all single family homes and town homes. If you live in an apartment or condominium, you can recycle if your building has contracted private services. New Haven maintains a recycling center located at 260 Middleton Avenue., for residents to take recyclable materials. In addition, you can encourage your landlord or property manager to contact our office and find out how your complex may be able to become a part of the single-stream recycling program.

    What is my recycling day? How can I receive a single-stream trash/recycling collection schedule and program information?

    New Haven residents on the single-stream program can download a collection schedule and trash/recycling information guide online or call the Department of Public works line at 203-946-7700.

    What are “yard materials”? When do yard materials collections occur? How do I set out yard materials for collection?

    Grass, leaves, and small brush are considered yard materials. New Haven encourages residents to benefit from their yard materials at home by grasscycling and/or home composting, rather than placing yard materials out for collection. Yard materials are collected on your regular trash day. Place leaves, grass clippings, and small twigs into brown paper leaf bags. Larger sticks and branches should be broken down and bundled no larger than 4 feet long and 12 inches in diameter.

    Does New Haven have drop-off facilities for recyclables?

    Yes, New Haven maintains a Recycling Center for residents where certain materials can be taken for recycling. The center is located at 260 Middleton Avenue.

    Is there a place I can take my paint, light bulbs, household batteries, and medicines? Is there a place I can take my Household Hazardous Wastes?

    Hazardous Waste is accepted at the Regional Water Authority's HazWaste Central. Please visit the HazWaste website for more information

    Why Recycle Anyway?

    Recycling improves the environment in many ways:

    • Recycling diverts materials from going in the landfill, thereby extending landfill life.
    • Recycling conserves natural resources, such as timber, water and mineral ores.
    • Methane is a major greenhouse gas generated in solid waste landfills. Recycling reduces the need for landfills.
    • Supplying recycled materials to an industry uses less energy than supplying virgin materials that incur extra extraction and transportation costs.
    • Manufacturing with recycled materials, with very few exceptions, produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing with virgin materials.

    What can businesses that are interested in recycling do?

    Although the city does not offer recycling collection service to businesses, the Department of Public Works offers advice and guidance to businesses interested in recycling. Businesses interested in more information or assistance from the city can call DPW’s customer service line at 203-946-7700.

    What do I do with bottle caps?

    Before tossing your bottle into the recycling bin, be sure to remove the cap, then put both into the bin. Removal of the cap allows for evaporation and prevents retention of residual liquid. Extra liquid causes a number of problems: it adds weight, which adds to the energy (and fossil fuel emissions) necessary to transport the recyclables; it creates a mess and causes injuries in the recycling plant.

    Can I recycle envelopes with the plastic windows? What about staples? And spiral notebooks? Glossy advertisements? Post-its?

    You'll like the answer to this one; all of these items are fine to toss into the recycling bin. In the recycling process, all paper, even the glossy, is converted to pulp, and all non-natural fibers such as metal will be strained out. So don't waste your time removing staples, spiral bindings, or plastic windows!

    Can I recycle paper with tape on it?

    It's OK to leave tape on paper; however, it does gum up machines and reduce the efficiency of recycling. Try to remove obvious tape from papers and posters before recycling...but again, don't waste your time scraping tape off of paper!

    Why can't I recycle pizza boxes?

    The actual cardboard of the pizza boxes is recyclable; it is the food residue that is almost sure to have seeped into the cardboard that the recycling company doesn't want. When recycling collectors see a food-soaked item in a cardboard recycling bin, they may assume that the entire bin is "contaminated;" they can't take the time to sort out the good and the bad cardboard. We have to provide them with clean, ready-to-recycle products!

    Can I recycle any plastic that has a recycling sign and number on it?

    New Haven now recycles every type of plastic – numbers one through seven. If the plastic has a recycling symbol on it, you can throw it in the recycle bin, regardless of the number.

    What if I don't have a recycling bin?

    You can request a recycling bin from DPW at 203-946-7700.

    How important is it that I prepare recyclables correctly? Doesn't this take a really long time?

    It is extremely important to prepare items correctly before placing them in recycling bins. This means:

    • Flatten boxes. If you don't, they will probably be thrown away.
    • Clean out obvious food residue from plastics (such as a yogurt container). You do not have to rinse out drink bottles; sugary soda residue is acceptable!
    • Remove bottle caps (so that residue can evaporate and not add weight and mess).

    What do I do with plastic bags?

    There is no universal system for plastic bag recycling; that's why you should really make an effort to prevent the production and use of bags by carrying a re-usable bag or backpack. However, with those bags you do have, try to reuse them. They make great small trash can liners! If your bags are grocery bags from a store with a bag recycling program, you can take them back to the store from which they came. Plastic bags can not be recycled with cans and bottles as they are difficult to handle in transport and jam conveyor belts.

    What should I do with my laundry detergent bottle?

    Recycle it! Just take the cap off!

    How can I get rid of junk mail once and for all?

    Call 1 888 5 OPT OUT to stop credit card offers. For unwanted contribution pleas and catalogues, make a few simple phone calls or emails and ask to be taken off of mailing lists. To limit your exposure, write "Please do not rent or sell my name" or "No mailing lists" next to your name whenever you order products by mail, enter a contest, subscribe to a magazine, send in a warranty card, or otherwise give your name and address to a company or organization. (Also consider not sending in the warranty card for a new product - it's usually not required.) One effective way to remove your name from national mailing lists is to write the Direct Marketing Association and register with their Mail Preference Service - an indication that you do not want to be contacted by solicitors. In a letter or 3 1/2 x 5" postcard, include the date, your name, address and signature, and write "Please register my name with the Mail Preference Service." (The term "Mail Preference Service" may sound confusing, but rest assured, registration with MPS is what you do to get off of the mailing lists.) This actually works. Marketers do not want to waste their efforts on people who have explicitly stated they are not interested. Mail to: Mail Preference Service, Attn: Dept: 6386627 Direct Marketing Association P.O. Box 282 Carmel, NY 10512

    What can I do with packing peanuts?

    Call the Peanut Hotline (Yes, there is a peanut hotline) at 1-800-828-2214 for a list of area businesses such as Mailboxes Etc. which accept plastic loose fill or packaging peanuts for reuse.

    How do I buy recycled?

    The key to buying recycled products is reading labels. You must look for the trademark arrows of the recycling symbol, but that doesn't always mean the product is made from recycled material; it may simply mean the product is technically recyclable (sometimes, only if the product is returned in perfect condition to the manufacturer!). What you really must check is the ingredient list: you want to see the percent of post-consumer content. Many paper products promote themselves as recycled, but come from industrial surplus (called pre-consumer) that would be recycled anyway. Post-consumer means that another person has already used the material and it is being recycled to you. So that you can use and then recycle it, of course!

    Contact Quick Link
    Your Home Quick Link
    Energy Quick Link
    Recycling Quick Link
    Volunteer Quick Link
    1/3/2012: Reduce heat loss through your fireplace by making sure that the damper is closed when the fireplace ...

    Click to read more...




    Footer For City Site
    Residents | Visitors | Business | Online Services | Q&A | Guide to New Haven | Government | Forms Central | Calendars | Emergency Info
    Any comments/suggestions E-mail the Webmaster for the City of New Haven or contact the Mayor's Office, 165 Church Street, New Haven CT 06510, Telephone 203-946-8200.
    New Haven City Seal