several rows of empty plastic bottles

Recycling Programs for all County Residents

Union County to hold Next free Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Event for Residents on June 2

— The Union County Board of Commissioners is happy to inform residents that the next free Household Hazardous Waste event of the 2024 season will be held on Sunday, June 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the UCNJ- Union College of Union County NJ, which is located at 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.  The event will take place in the parking lots 5A and 5B on campus.  The event will be held in conjunction with Union County’s “Beyond the Bin” recycling event, which will also be held at the same site.  There will be ample signage onsite to guide residents to the proper location of each event on location. 

“Union County’s Household Hazardous Waste events provide a free, convenient opportunity for residents to remove unwanted chemicals and other potentially hazardous items from their homes and yards, and dispose of them safely,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “It is a great way to make a real difference and help keep harmful substances out of the environment. By participating, you are not just safeguarding your own household but also contributing to the well-being of our entire community and ecosystem.”

Any Union County resident may participate, regardless of their home town. The Household Hazardous Waste events provide Union County residents with a free, environmentally safe way to dispose of outdated or unwanted household chemicals, mercury thermostats and thermometers, propane tanks, and many other items such as oil-based paint (no latex paint) and varnish, antifreeze, aerosol cans, pool chemicals, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, thinners, fire extinguishers, motor oil and oil filters, gasoline, batteries, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), mercury switches, and more.  The Union County Police Department will also be onsite to handle the proper disposal of fireworks and ammunition that residents may have. 

Union County’s Household Hazardous Waste events are contact-free. Participants must remain in their vehicles while personnel at the site unload their waste items. Only materials in original or labeled containers will be accepted. No containers larger than five gallons will be accepted.

Tires are also accepted at these events. There is a limit of eight automobile (car) without rims, bicycle, or motorcycle tires, per household.

For a list of the materials that will be accepted on June 2nd, please go to  For information regarding other Union County recycling programs, please visit

Please note that latex paint (water-based) wall paint is NOT accepted at the household hazardous waste events.  Residents wishing to dispose of latex paint are advised to use it, donate it, or dry the paint in the can and discard it in regular household garbage with the lid off. To help dry out paint, add kitty litter, newspaper or a product called waste paint hardener (which can be purchased at home improvement or paint stores) to the paint.

The Household Hazardous Waste collection event will be held rain or shine, for Union County residents only, not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required. For more information, please call the Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889. For quick links to all environmental programs and activities in Union County visit The Green Connection,

Union County Holds Special “Beyond the Bin” Recycling Event This June

In light of the success that Union County had last fall with the first Beyond the Bin event, the Union County Board of County Commissioners will be holding another Beyond the Bin event this spring.  This event will be held on Sunday, June 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 UCNJ, Union College of Union County NJ, located at 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.  This event will be held in conjunction with Union County’s next Household Hazardous Waste event.

“As we continue our commitment to sustainability and waste reduction, Union County is proud to announce our second Beyond the Bin event,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly-Palmieri-Mouded. “Building on the success of last fall’s initiative, we are expanding our efforts to address challenges in recycling and provide residents with convenient solutions. Together, we can turn waste into opportunities for a greener, more vibrant community.”

The County of Union understands that several challenges within the current recycling program still exist. Some residents may be unaware that certain items, like plastic film that packages paper towels or water bottles, an old fax machine or broken computer for instance, or unused or discarded vegetables and other food products can be recycled.  Others are unsure of where to take items to be recycled, and may end up throwing them in the trash. Furthermore, with New Jersey’s highly successful ban of single use plastic bags well underway, we now have a surplus of reusable cloth bags piling up in homes, cars, and garages that residents just don’t know what to do with.

On average, the US alone has been noted to discard upwards of 34 billions of pounds of textile waste each year (Lundberg and Devoy, 2022). That is around 100 pounds of waste per person each year! Instead of throwing this material in the trash, residents can now give it a second life at this event. 

Furthermore, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in 2019, 66 million tons of wasted food was generated in the food retail, food service, and residential sectors, and most of this waste (about 60%) was sent to landfills (  Union County is making an effort, through this event, to help curtail this food waste trend and send the food to the Waste Management CORe facility in Elizabeth (, where it will be used to make renewable energy from the food waste collected. 

Union County’s Beyond the Bin recycling event has partnered with the organizations MRM, Helpsy, Waste Management and GoaTote Inc. in the collection of the following items:

Covered Electronic Devices

Desktop or personal computers, computer monitors, portable computers, desktop fax machines, monitors, printers, tablets/e-readers, and televisions

Plastic Film

Clean, dry plastic bags, bubble wrap, Ziplock bags, dry-cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, cereal box liners, bread bags, produce bags, case overwrap (i.e. a case of bottled water)

Clothing/ Textiles

All textiles in any condition.  Stains, rips, tears are okay as long as they are dry and odorless.  Textiles includes all shirts, pants, skirts, sweaters, pajamas, jackets, winter coats, rain coats, shoes, accessories, handbags, backpacks, household linens, towels, sneakers, boots, etc

Reusable Shopping Bags (non-plastic)

Cloth, canvas, cotton, #5 woven and non-woven shopping bags

Food Waste Recycling

Produce; Meat, Fish and Poultry, Dairy; Bread, Pasta, Rice, Grains; Coffee Grounds


Yes – White clean foam, Furnature/Appliance Packaging Foam

No – Egg Cartons, Food service foam, packing peanuts/cardboard, dirty/wet foam and dark colored foam

Composting at Home

For residents interested in composting at home, we have partnered with BrandBuilders LLC in making backyard composters, rain barrels, and more available for purchase online and pick up at the event. For more information on composting materials for your home or to make a purchase, please visit us at

Union County’s Beyond the Bin recycling initiative is brought to you by the Union County Board of Commissioners, in collaboration with the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning and the Union County Department of Public Works.

New Program to Address Reusable Bag Surplus

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce a new program aimed at addressing the surplus of reusable bags in our communities. As part of Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados’ “Building a Stronger Union County,” theme for 2023, this new environmental initiative is in collaboration with the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning, the Town of Westfield and the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) are partnering with GOATote, Inc. to provide a solution to this issue.

“We are delighted to introduce this innovative program, which will address the surplus of reusable bags in our communities,” said Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “The County of Union is taking a proactive step towards sustainability and we aim to make a meaningful impact by repurposing these bags and ensuring they reach those in need. Together, we can create a more environmentally conscious and socially responsible community.”

Learn more about this program


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New Jersey Clean Communities Program

Contact the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning

Bureau of Recycling & Planning

Stuart Newman Bureau Chief
2325 South Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

Phone: 908-654-9890

Fax: 908-789-3674