Trash Talk: What’s In – What’s Out

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Do you ever wonder if a piece of trash should be thrown away or recycled? Well now there is a tool on the Town’s website that can help you decide. Go to and click on the “Town Offices and Services” tab at the top of the page. Then select “Trash and Recycling” on the left hand column. At the top you will find a link to Recycle CT’s “What’s in-What’s Out” tool which lets you type in a specific item to see if it should go into your blue curbside recycling cart.

Recycling saves the town money because we are charged a tipping fee based on the weight of trash in our black carts. Putting more recyclable items into our blue carts will lower the Town’s tipping fee. We do need to recycle correctly to keep the contamination rate low per our contract with USA Hauling.

There are some things that should never be placed in your recycle cart. Styrofoam, plastic film, including shopping bags or packaging, zip lock bags or frozen vegetable type bags should not be recycled. These items are to be thrown away in the regular trash cart or brought to a store that accepts plastic film recycling including Walmart, Target and larger grocery stores.

Just because an item can be reused doesn’t mean it should be placed in your recycling cart. For instance, clothing and shoes, wood, carpets, household goods, flower pots, plastic coolers or toys should never be placed in your blue bin. Those items can be brought to the Landfill’s “Take It or Leave It” table or donated to a local non-profit agency.

The only items you should be putting in your blue recycle bin are: metal, plastic or glass food, drink and cleaning product containers, cardboard, newspaper, and junk mail. Soda or water bottles with the caps on or off are accepted. Loose bottle caps and shredded paper should never be recycled because they jam up the sorting machines.

Make sure to rinse your containers first before tossing and do not bag your recyclables. Everything should be loose in your blue, single stream recycling container. It will be separated later at the sorting facility. Take a look at the short video on our Trash & Recycle website page to see what happens to your recyclables after they get picked up from your driveway. Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible.

For more information, visit our website or call the Department of Public Works at 860-668-3890.

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