Connecticut Recycling Law

In Connecticut and Stamford, recycling is the law. Every residence, every business (including non-profits), and all public and private agencies and institutions such as colleges, hospitals, and local and state government agencies, must recycle.

The items required to be recycled in accordance with Section 22a-208v and Section 22a-256a of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 22a-241b of the Regulations of the Connecticut State Agencies include:

  • Glass & Metal Food and Beverage Containers
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • White Office Paper (Residences exempt)
  • Scrap Metal
  • Ni-Cd Rechargeable Batteries (From electronics)
  • Waste Oil
  • Lead Acid Batteries (From vehicles)
  • Leaves (Must be composted)

Grass is banned from disposal at landfills and incinerators. Grass clippings should be left on the lawn or composted.

State law requires that your hauler:

  • Provide recycling services and if required issue a warning notice to customers suspected of violating separation requirements.
  • Assist the municipality in identifying customers responsible for creating garbage loads containing significant amounts of recyclables detected by the receiving resource recovery or solid waste facility.
  • May not knowingly mix other solid waste with items designated for recycling.
  • May have their garbage loads rejected at a solid waste facility if the load contains a significant amount of recyclables. This costs your hauler time and money. These costs may be passed on to you, the customer.

Some trash hauling companies are using a single container to collect all garbage, including materials required by Connecticut law to be recycled. If your hauler tells you they have a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) allowing them to separate recyclables from garbage, know that this claim is false.

No facility in Connecticut is permitted to "pick through" mixed garbage to retrieve recyclable material.
This means that you, as the hauler's customer, may be in violation of state recycling requirements.
Call DEP at (860) 424-3130 if:

  • You see your hauler mixing recyclables and garbage in the same truck.
  • Your hauler tells you that recycling is not necessary or they will recycle a mixed load elsewhere.
  • You require technical assistance or further information about starting a recycling program.