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Curbside Recycling

Curbside recycling in Mercer County is Single Stream which means all your recyclables can go in your Green or Yellow recycling bucket. Recyclables must be at the curb by 7 am. Recyclables should not be placed in plastic bags.

More information is available at:
Residential recycling in Mercer County
Mercer County 2023 Curbside Recycling Schedule
Mercer County Acceptable Recyclable Materials

For missed stops or other information call the Mercer County Recycling Office: (609) 278-8086
If you need more recycling buckets, call your municipal Public Works Department:
Hopewell Borough (609) 466-0168
Hopewell Township (609) 737-0799
Pennington Borough (609) 737-9440

Download the free Mercer County “Recycle Coach” app!
Find out the proper recycling/disposal procedure for hundreds of materials and never lose track of your residential recycling collection day again! Recycle Coach app

The State of New Jersey provides information about recycling here.


There are lots of things that you can include in your curbside recycling container:

Almost any kind of paper or cardboard, and food, beverage and cleaning product containers made from glass, aluminum, or #1 and #2 plastics. Please check the number on your plastic containers that indicates the type of plastic. You can usually find the number in the “Recycling Symbol” at the bottom of the container.

Try to avoid buying plastic containers with the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 since there is currently no easy way to recycle them. Plastic marked with #5 can be dropped off at a Whole Foods store or mailed to Preserve. Whole Foods discontinued collection of #5 plastics in mid-2021 and Preserve’s mail-in program is on hold.

Common Recycling Mistakes:

  • DO NOT put recyclables in plastic bags
  • DO NOT put the following materials in your curbside containers:
    • Pizza boxes and other food-contaminated paper
    • Lithium batteries
    • Paper ice cream containers
    • Cardboard spiral cans (e.g., Pringles, Ajax, frozen juice)
    • Aluminum foil and baking pans
    • Plastic containers labeled #3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    • Plastic containers with chemicals like motor oil or ice melt
    • Styrofoam, Styrofoam egg cartons, bubble wrap
    • Lightbulbs, ceramics, aerosol cans

Surprisingly Okay:

  • Bottle caps, both plastic and metal (removed from bottles)
  • Milk or juice cartons, even if they have a plastic spout
  • Cardboard cartons for frozen foods
  • Plastic windows in envelopes
  • Accidentally broken glass jars
  • Books (remove covers from hard back books and put in trash)
  • Soda and beer bottle cartons

There is no problem with materials that have been sitting in the rain all day; your buckets will still be collected!

Princeton Perspectives interviewed Daniel G. Napoleon, the Director of Environmental Programs for the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA), in 2023 about curbside recycling:
Recycling in Mercer County – Everything You Always Wanted to Know

Excellent guide to recycling published in 2023 by The Washington Post:
You’re probably recycling wrong. This quiz will help you sort it out.

What about batteries?

  • Regular Alkaline batteries can go in the trash.
  • Lithium and rechargeable batteries should not be put in curbside recycling bins. You can take them to many retail stores, e.g. Home Depot, Staples or Lowe’s for recycling. Check Earth911 for a location near you!
  • More information about disposing of batteries here.