Top 10 Westchester County Recycling Dos and Don’ts

With recycling technology becoming more and more advanced, it can be hard to stay up-to-date with all the latest best practices to follow. To help Westchester residents figure out how to make the right choices when it comes to recycling, we’ve gathered together a list of county-specific dos and don’ts from the Westchester County Recycling Office.

Don’t recycle vinyl, Styrofoam (cups, trays, packing material), any unmarked or non-coded plastics (including large rigid plastics as in toys, pools, and furniture, as well as clothing hangers, tableware, utensils), building materials (piping, sinks, and other fixtures), and empty plastic containers which held potentially hazardous material, regardless of the recycling code (motor oil, pesticides, and solvents). Also, don’t recycle any “gable top” containers (your common milk and juice cartons); these can be placed in your garbage. 

Do recycle all plastics coded with any number between 1 through 7, commonly used for food, beverages, detergents, household cleaners and shampoo. Include coded pails and buckets, as well as coded flower pots and trays rinsed free of soil or other products.

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Don’t place recyclables in plastic bags for collection.

Do place recyclables loose in any container for collection by your local hauler.

Don’t recycle glass that is not used for packaging food or beverages (light bulbs, drinking glasses, crystal, window, and mirror glass, ceramic ware, and kitchen cookware). Empty glass containers which held potentially hazardous materials (pesticides and solvents) should be discarded as garbage. Also, don’t recycle empty paint cans or metal containers which held potentially hazardous materials such as pesticides, glues or solvents. Aluminum siding, scrap metal, wire, pipes, tubing, motors, sheet metal, appliances and auto parts are recycled under separate municipal programs.

Do recycle glass jars and bottles of any size and color. Also, do recycle food and beverage cans, clean aluminum foil and trays, and empty aerosol cans.

Don’t recycle medications, syringes or other sharps. 

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Do bring unwanted medications to Westchester County’s Medication Take-Back Days at the Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) (by appointment) on the first Tuesday of the month, one of our participating police departments who host MedReturn Units (confidential, available 24/7), or follow proper DEC-recommended protocol for disposal in your household trash. Bring needles, syringes and other sharps to a hospital or health facility that accepts them. Check out the County’s Drug Disposal Web site for more info

Don’t put confidential papers in with your paper recyclables.

Do try to visit the County’s Mobile Paper Shredder or the Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) to shred and recycle your confidential documents.  Residents can also dispose of other hard-to-get-rid-of household materials at the H-MRF, such as fluorescent bulbs, tires, batteries, household chemicals, lawn care products, etc. Check out our Web Site: for more information or to make an appointment.

You can find all the latest news and current info from the Westchester County Recycling Office on their official Facebook Page located at or the county government’s recycling page at

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