Recycle – There is a lot to know about how to correctly recycle

The average New Yorker generates over 4.5 pounds of garbage each day! The NYSDEC has been working to reduce waste for decades, and has some great information about recycling on its website. It is actually pretty easy to recycle these days, though determining if some items are recyclable can still be a little confusing. Contamination is a big deal, so it is important to recycle correctly and “when in doubt, throw it out!” Avoiding contamination, or wish-cycling (putting something in the recycling bin because you hope it is recyclable) is essential to making recycling programs successful. Here are some resources to help you make sure you recycle the right way.

And if you have something that still works, please consider donating that item so someone else can use it. Read our Recycling Made Easy guide for more information on places to donate unwanted items.

Single Stream Recycling information for Saratoga County

What is single stream? Single stream recycling, or zero sort, is when you can combine all of your recyclables rather than separate out different materials (plastic, glass, paper, etc).

Household Hazardous Waste Day for City of Saratoga Residents

The City of Saratoga Springs is hosting their bi-annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day on November 18th, 2023 at Weibel Avenue Ice Rink.


Options for household recycling in Saratoga County

Casella offers zero sort recycling in Saratoga.

Items accepted for recycling by Casella include:

And a list of items that Casella does not accept for recycling:

items not accepted by Casella for recycling

County Waste – Recycling is included in the residential rate for your trash removal, so it does not cost you anything additional.

County Waste owns and operates a single stream recycling sorting plant in Albany, called the Sierra Processing facility. You can read about Sustainable Saratoga’s tour of this facility in 2019.

What can I recycle? Here is a partial list, click the link for additional details.

  • Plastic bottles & containers (#1-7) LEAVE CAPS AND LIDS ATTACHED
  • Paper, file folders
  • Magazines, mail, newspaper, catalogs, greeting cards, phone books
  • Paperback books
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Cans
  • Aluminum foil (clean, balled up)
  • Pie pans
  • Paper bags
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Paperboard boxes (e.g., cereal boxes)
  • Empty aerosol cans (NO CAPS)
  • Clean pizza boxes
  • Paper milk & juice cartons

Things that are not recyclable. Here is a partial list, so click the link for additional details.

  • Plastic bags (but you can take these to your local stores)
  • Compostable plastic (needs an industrial composting facility)
  • Clothing or textiles (Donate or save for the next Saratoga Recycles Day)
  • Electronics (look for places to recycle these in our Recycling Guide)
  • Hangers
  • Hard cover books
  • Ropes, wire, chain, cable
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Medical or hazardous waste
  • Styrofoam
  • Plates, drinking glasses
  • Ceramics
  • Six-pack holders (cut up before throwing away)
  • Light bulbs (take back to home improvement stores)

Twin Bridges has a residential recycling program

Here is a list of acceptable items:

  • Cardboard, paper bags, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, egg cartons, paper milk/juice cartons, etc.
  • Mixed paper: newspaper, magazine, junk mail, office (file folders), greeting cards, brochures, catalogs
  • Paper-back books only (no hard-cover)
  • Aluminum and steel cans, aluminum foil, aluminum pans
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (e.g., milk jugs) with recycling symbols #’s 1-7
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Prescription drug bottles (empty)
  • Empty aerosol cans (no caps)

Here is a list of items that are not recyclable in with Twin Bridges:

  • Plastic bags (but you can take these to your local stores)
  • Clothing or textiles (Donate or save for the next Saratoga Recycles Day)
  • Electronics (look for places to recycle these in our Recycling Guide)
  • Styrofoam or packaging materials
  • Shredded paper
  • Wood
  • Hard cover books
  • Hangers
  • Toys
  • Propane tanks
  • Paint cans
  • Take-out food bags
  • Christmas lights
  • Grass, plants, or Christmas trees

Waste Management has a wealth of information about their recycling program on their website, including this document, which discusses recycling myths, outlines what materials they accept, and what materials should be disposed of in the trash.

Here are some additional resources to help you recycle even more things:

  • Our Recycling Made Easy guide will provide you with information about household recycling, as well as a list of places you can donate various items to be reused
  • Sustainable Saratoga hosts a Recycles Day event every October, where you can take clothing, textile, electronics (including TVs), metal, and other items to be recycled into something new.
  • TerraCycle is a company that aims to help you recycle items that are tougher to find places that accept it for recycling.
  • Plastic bags and wraps are often confusing. Learn more and find out where to recycle these things here
  • Did you know that US consumers throw away 400 million units of electronic equipment every year? Electronic waste, or e-waste, must be properly disposed of in New York State. This includes items such as computers, televisions, VCR, DVD players, Learn more at County Waste and the DEC
  • There are many places that will take electronic waste (check out our Recycling Made Easy guide for local options; a full list from the DEC can be found here)
  • Staples also accepts a lot of electronics
  • Smoke detectors can be recycled! Smoke &/or carbon monoxide are accepted. Here’s the process for the following brands: First Alert, BRK, American Sensor, Dicon, Family Guard, Onelink, Wake ‘N Warn:Call 1-800-323-9005 to get a “Disposal Number” and the address to send your detectors to. Fewer than 5 are free, 5+ cost $1 each; you pay shipping on both.

Have a question about recycling?

Email us at