Recycling & Solid Waste Frequently Asked Questions



 Q: Are there any items that are not accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Events?

Alkaline batteries - AA, AAA, C, D, 9V (dispose in normal trash)

Unlabeled waste or containers with unknown contents

Regulated medical waste, radioactive materials and explosives

Containers larger than five (5) gallons

Compressed cylinders (oxygen or acetylene)

Pressure-treated lumber or railroad ties

Computers, electronics and tires

 Q: Are your collection programs open if it rains?

A: The Household Hazardous Waste, Shredder, Electronic/Computer and Tire Collection Events are held rain or shine.

 Q: If I cannot make it to a Household Hazardous Waste Event can I put these materials into my household trash?

A: While some items can be placed in with your household trash, the BCUA recommends that these items be delivered to a Household Hazardous Waste Event for safe disposal.

 Q: What happens to all the materials delivered to the Household Hazardous Waste Program?

A: The Bergen County Utilities Authority goes to great lengths to ensure that your discarded waste is recycled, or disposed of in the most environmentally sound method possible. Once the hazardous waste arrives at the event it is sorted into specific categories. Hazardous waste is transported to a variety of regulated hazardous waste drop-off points throughout the United States. Items such as gasoline and flammable liquids go to fuel incineration. Other materials are recycled, such as fluorescent bulbs and lead-acid batteries where they recover the mercury and lead for reuse.

 Q: Where can I bring plastic bags, wraps, and films?

Plastic bags, wraps, and films can’t be recycled in your curbside recycling bins. But, you can take some of these items to local retail stores where they collect plastic grocery bags for recycling. 

Click here for drop off locations near you!

 Q: What types of items are considered to be household hazardous waste?

A: Household hazardous waste is any unwanted household product labeled as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive.  The most common products include aerosols, antifreeze, household cleaning agents, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, and solvents.

 Q: When are Household Hazardous Waste Events held?

A: The Bergen County Utilities Authority hosts eight Household Hazardous Waste events each year. Click here for a flyer.

 Q: Where can I take my Household Hazardous Waste?

A: Improper disposal of these products is not only illegal, but can contaminate drinking water, and seriously injure garbage and recycling collection employees. Bergen County’s household hazardous waste program offers a free disposal program to all residents of Bergen County to ensure safe disposal. To find out more information on HHW and future collection events call (201) 807-5825 or view current collection schedule.


 Q: What do I do with bottlecaps? Should I put them in recycling or garbage?

A: Bottlecaps are most often made from #5 plastic (polypropylene). This is a usually a different type of plastic than the bottle itself, so the plastics will melt at different temperatures during the recycling process. Therefore, they need to be recycled separately. Remove the bottle cap from the bottle. Check with your town to see what the requirements are for recycling plastic #5.  If bottlecaps are NOT recycled in your town, Aveda Experience Centers will accept small quantities (1 small bag or paper box) at their stores. For further information on this program, visit or call 1-877-AVEDA09.

 Q: How can I schedule a recycling education program?

A: Contact Angela Bonanno-Lynch at 201-807-5821 or