As we hit the biggest grilling holiday of the year, we’d like to offer this refresher on Newton’s recycling rules and best practices for reducing waste. Remember, prevent generating waste in the first place by reducing and reusing. Then, recycle the waste generated when you can.

  • Reuse decorations you already own instead of buying new items. 
  • You can recycle party waste like aluminum, glass, and plastic bottles. 
  • Plastic grocery bags, hotdog and hamburger bun bags, and bags that carry ice are all recyclable at local retailers, but NEVER in your recycling bin. 
  • If you’re on the go, carry a bag to bring your recyclables home! 
  • For more recycling tips, visit RecycleSmartMA.

DO put the following items loose in your green cart: 

Paper & Cardboard

  • White & colored paper (staples, paper clips, spirals OK)
  • Cardboard (flatten & fold boxes)
  • Paperboard (paper towel rolls, cereal, tissue boxes)
  • Phone books & junk mail
  • Magazines & catalogs
  • Newspapers & inserts
  • Paper bags
  • Pizza boxes (empty, minor oil stains OK)
  • Books (rip off hard covers)


  • Aluminum cans, trays & foil
  • Stiff plastic containers such as bottles, jugs, and tubs
  • Glass bottles & jars


DON’T put any of these materials in your green cart:

Material Proper Outlet More Information
Plastic bags, plastic films, or plastic wraps These materials can be returned to some supermarkets and retailers. Look up a list of locations here.
Plastic utensils Place in trash  
Bulky plastics (chairs, toys, buckets, storage containers) Recycle at the Resource Recovery Center Resource Recovery Center


Flower pots & garden plastics Recycle at the Resource Recovery Center  Resource Recovery Center


Food or beverage cartons Place in trash   
Black plastic (i.e. take out trays) Place in trash In the single stream recycling process, plastic items are sorted using optical scanners, which use the reflect of light to identify the types of plastic. Black doesn’t reflect light, so it cannot be seen and sorted properly by the scanners. As a result, it end up being sorted incorrectly, contaminating other materials.
Small plastic bottles Place in trash Small bottles such as prescription medicine bottles are too small to be captured by the single stream recycling equipment.
Dishes, ceramics & pyrex Donate, sell or place in trash  
Clothing, bedding & other textiles


Ripped & stained

All types of textiles, including shoes, belts and stuffed animals, can be donated to various charities at the Resource Recovery Center. Resource Recovery Center


Paper coffee cup Place in trash   
Shredded Paper  Place in trash or compost  
Styrofoam Recycle at the Resource Recovery Center Resource Recovery Center
Paper plates, napkins, paper towels, tissues Place in trash or compost   
Light bulbs Recycle at the Resource Recovery Center Resource Recovery Center
Metal pots, pans, hangers, other scrap metal Recycle at the Resource Recovery Center Resource Recovery Center