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Put Plastic Film and Styrofoam on your Holiday Recycling List this Year

The Union County Board of County Commissioners reminds residents that much of the material in their holiday gift deliveries can be recycled. Municipal  drop-off locations are now available for Styrofoam recycling, plastic film recycling, or both.

As a reminder, the Styrofoam and plastic film programs are drop-off only, and they are only available at designated municipal recycling sites.

“We encourage everyone to add block-type Styrofoam and plastic film to their list of household recyclables this year, and bring these items to a designated location.” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.

Styrofoam recycling is available in nine municipalities in Union County. Visit ucnj.org/recycling/styrofoam for a list of drop-off locations and hours of operations. 

In order to maintain high quality in the recycling stream, the Styrofoam program only accepts rigid, white foam blocks, such as the type used to pack appliances. Soft, bendable types of foam are not accepted.

Foam blocks for recycling must be clean and dry, with labels, staples and other attachments removed.

All other types of foam must be discarded in regular household trash, including colored Styrofoam and other foam items such as packing peanuts, beverage cups, containers, egg cartons and wrapping.

A local recycler in Union County transforms the blocks into new material that can be used to manufacture plush toys, picture frames and furniture, among other items.

Under a new program coordinated by the Bureau of Recycling and Planning, 12 municipalities have also established drop-off sites for bubble wrap, store bags, plastic delivery mailing envelopes and several other common types of clean, dry plastic film. It is not necessary to remove stamps and labels.

For a list of drop-off locations and hours, visit ucnj.org/recycling/plastic-film.

The plastic film recycling program accepts both clear and colored films, but only if they fall into one of the following categories:

From your front door – bubble wrap, plastic e-commerce mailers, newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags

From the store – produce bags, store bags, ice bags

From your pantry – Ziploc and other re-closable bags, cereal box liners, bread bags, case overwrap (for example a case of bottled water)

All other types of plastic film must be disposed in regular household trash.

The recycled film is transported to Virginia, where the company Trex uses it as raw material to manufacture high quality decking, lawn furniture and other outdoor items.

Experts from Union County’s Bureau of Recycling and Planning are available to present recycling information to schools, community groups and other organizations. To schedule a program contact Heather Miara, heather.miara@ucnj.org.

The free Recycle Coach mobile app provides a handy way to find out what items are included in curbside recycling programs and drop-off sites in Union County. The app provides up to date information on both countywide and local recycling programs.

For more information and updates on all Union County recycling programs and locations, visit the Bureau of Recycling and Planning website at ucnj.org/recycle.

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are available at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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