Recycling...It's the Law!
Did you know that recycling is mandatory in Connecticut? Everyone must recycle. That includes residents whether living in a single or multifamily building, every business including non-profits, and all public and private agencies and institutions, e.g., colleges, hospitals, local and state government agencies. It's the Law!
Designated Recyclable Items
The items required to be recycled in accordance with state law i.e. Section 22a-208v and Section 22a-256a through 22a-256ee of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 22a-241b of the Regulations of the Connecticut State Agencies are:
- Glass & Metal Food and Beverage Containers
- Plastic Containers (PET or PETE #1)
- Plastic Containers (HDPE #2)
- Corrugated Cardboard
- White & Colored Office Paper (residences and businesses)
- Scrap Metal
- Ni-Cd Rechargeable Batteries (from consumer products)
- Waste Oil (crankcase oil from internal combustion engines)
- Storage Batteries (from motor vehicles)
- Leaves (must be composted)
- Grass Clippings (banned from disposal - should be left on the lawn or, if necessary, composted).
Additional Recyclable Items
In addition to the designated recyclables that are mandated, many municipalities have ordinances which require additional items to be recycled, such as paper beverage cartons (drink boxes, and milk and juice cartons), boxboard (such as cereal and cracker boxes), and discarded mail. To find out about those additional items, speak with your municipal recycling contact, visit your municipal website, or refer to your local solid waste and recycling ordinance.
By recycling, you will be protecting the environment, and as a result, protecting your health as well. Recycling:
- Reduces the amount of waste that must be disposed – which means less waste to incinerate or landfill.
- Prevents or reduces air and water pollution.
- Conserves water and precious natural resources – since less raw materials need to be extracted and processed.
- Saves energy – In 2003, EPA reported the energy savings from recycling in the US accounted for roughly 1,486 trillion Btu in energy savings - an amount equivalent to the consumption of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline or 256 million barrels of crude oil!
- Makes us more sustainable because we are borrowing less materials and energy from our children’s future.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Your Hauler is Required, Under State Law, to:
- Provide a warning notice to customers suspected of violating separation requirements.
- Not knowingly mix designated recyclables with trash.
- Offer recycling services that are equal to trash services - i.e. if they offer curbside trash pick-up, they must offer curbside recycling as well.
- Assist municipalities to identify customers who are not recycling (creating solid waste loads containing significant amounts of recyclables) that are detected by the receiving resource recovery plant or solid waste facility.
- Have their garbage loads inspected at solid waste facilities; and if a load contains a significant amount of recyclables, the load may be rejected. This costs your hauler time and money. These costs may be passed on to you, the customer.
Municipalities Take Note: Per Section 22a-220a (d)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes: Any collector hauling Solid Waste including recyclables shall register annually [with municipality] and disclose name and address of the collector and owner of the company, whether hauling is for residential or commercial or other solid waste; the types of solid waste hauled; anticipated disposal facilities and end markets used; additional information the municipality requires to ensure the health and safety of its residents.
Multi-Family and Condominium Recycling
Just like any other entity in Connecticut, apartment and condominium complexes are required to recover recyclables. You, your landlord, or your condo management company/association must separate recyclables from other solid waste and provide for recycling. Sections 22a-241b1(c) and (d) of the CT General Statutes discusses this responsibility for both residential and non-residential properties.
Find more information on how to set up a recycling program at your apartment building or condominium complex on our Recycling in Apartments, Condos and Multi-Family Residences webpage.
Question: My hauler provides a single collection container for all garbage and recyclables. He told me that they have a permit which allows them to separate out designated recyclables from the garbage. Is this true?
Answer: Such hauler claims are false and, consequently, any entity using this system for recycling may be in violation of state recycling requirements. There are no facilities permitted in Connecticut to "pick through" garbage to retrieve designated recyclable material.
Call DEEP at 860-424-3366 to file a complaint if:
- You see your hauler mixing separated recyclables and garbage in the same truck.
- Your hauler tells you that recycling is not necessary or they will recycle a mixed load elsewhere.
If you need more information, please read through our Frequently Asked Questions web page. If you require technical assistance or have questions specific to your town's recycling program, please first contact your local recycling coordinator. They are the most familiar with the recycling requirements for your town. You may also call the DEEP Recycling Program at 860-424-3366.
Content Last Updated June 12, 2013