The NYS Recyclopedia allows you to search for items to find out if they can be recycled, although local guidelines may vary. See Here is a quick guide. Click here to download a one-page, printable version.


Glass: Juice, wine, ketchup, food, canning, all colors
Metal: Cans, aluminum, trays
Plastic: Dairy, juice, water, shampoo, dishwashing and laundry detergent, bleach, soda, labeled No. 1 or No. 2
Paper: Newspapers, books, junk mail (including envelopes with plastic windows), glossy flyers, magazines, copy paper, shipping boxes, packaging boxes (e.g., cereal and shoe boxes)


According to Recycle Right NY, here are the top five mistakes consumers make when sorting their trash.

Ceramics and Drinking Glasses — Items such as wine glasses, drinking cups, mirrors, light bulbs and ceramics (whether broken or whole) cannot be recycled.
Receipts — Most receipts are made of thermal paper that cannot be recycled. Throw them out or ask for digital receipts.
Plastic Pouches — Many food and beverage pouches, such as those used for yogurt, juice, applesauce and baby food, cannot be recycled because they are too soiled by food and difficult to sort because they are flexible.
Instant soup and instant rice bags are also not recyclable because they are made from mixed layers of plastic and aluminum.
Plastic Bags — Plastic bags can be recycled but do not belong in the bin because they are “tanglers” that can wrap around equipment at the processing facility. Other tanglers include clothing, ropes, yarn, light strands, zip ties, garden hoses, wires, chains, blinds, cords and metal hangers (which can go back to the dry cleaner).
Batteries, Electronics, Cellphones — Batteries, electronics and cellphones can be recycled but should not be put into bins because they can cause fires in trucks and at facilities.

More Rejects

Aerosol cans
Animal medical cones
Artificial turf
Bike helmets
Blister packs
Bubble wrap
Candy wrappers
Caps (bottle)
Caps (screw)
Cigarette packs
Coffee pods/filters/bags
Cotton swabs
Credit/gift cards
Cups (paper)
Dental floss
Disinfecting wipes
Dryer sheets/lint
Envelopes (padded paper)
Envelopes (plastic)
Face masks
Flowers (artificial)
Food waste
Frozen food bags/boxes
Gas cans
Glass (acrylic/plexiglass)
Glass (broken)
Glow sticks
Holiday lights
Ice-cream cartons
Ice packs
Kitty litter
Lids (glass containers)
Light bulbs
Meat packaging
Nut cans
Packing peanuts

Paint brushes/rollers
Paint cans
Paper towels
Party favors
Phone cases
Pizza boxes (greasy)
Plastic (foam, labeled No. 6)
Plastic (ABS, sometimes labeled “No. 7 Other”)
Plastic eggs
Plastic plates
Plastic salad bags
Plastic toys
Plastic wrap
Pool noodles
Popcorn bags
Pots and planters
Produce baskets
Razor blades
Rice bags (mesh)
Rubber bands
Rubber gloves
Shopping bags (reusable)
Silica packets
Silicone products
Snack bags
Sports equipment
Stick deodorant
Takeout containers
Tape dispensers
Tissues or toilet paper
VHS tapes
Water filters
Wax paper
Waxed cardboard
Windshield wipers
Yard waste


In Beacon, the Conservation Advisory Committee sponsors a free residential compost drop-off program. Drop-off bins are located at the Recreation Department (23 W. Center St.), Memorial Park and the Churchill Street parking lot near Hudson Valley Brewery.

As of Jan. 1, the program no longer accepts “compostable plastics,” such as bin liners, bags, utensils or containers unless they are made of bamboo. Pizza boxes are accepted if shredded. Packing tape and labels are not compostable.

To purchase supplies, see The city offers a 2-gallon kitchen bin for $10, a 6-gallon transport bin for $20 and an 80-gallon Earth Machine compost bin for $45. Order online and pick up at the Rec Department. For more information, email [email protected].

Community Compost Co. offers residential pick-up in Beacon starting at $26 per month or $281 per year. The firm provides a 5-gallon bucket that is swapped out weekly or biweekly. Customers also receive free compost twice a year. See

In Philipstown, to register for residential composting, visit Philipstown Town Hall, 238 Main St., in Cold Spring, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to purchase a startup kit for $20 (checks only). It includes a pail, a transportation bin and 25 bags. Drop-offs can be made each Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Philipstown Recycling Center on Lane Gate Road. For information, email [email protected].

Putnam County sells Earth Machine compost bins for $70. See


The Philipstown Recycling Center on Lane Gate Road, which is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., accepts rechargeable batteries, cables, cameras, computers and peripherals, copiers, fluorescent lamps, gaming devices, cellphones, tablets, monitors, phone systems, printers, routers, scanners, stereos, external hard drives, televisions and wiring and cabling.

It also accepts bundled paper and cardboard, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, mini-split condenser units and central cooling units. Permits must be obtained at Town Hall to drop white goods such as washing machines and scrap metals. See

In Beacon, residents can drop up to 250 pounds of material at the Transfer Station at 90 Dennings Ave. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from late May to late September. It accepts appliances, car batteries, cardboard, construction debris, furniture, household goods, paper, scrap metal, tires, wood and yard waste. See Many items require a fee. It does not accept e-waste.

To sell or give away items, see or join Facebook groups such as Philipstown Free Stuff ( and Free Stuff Beacon (

Part 1: What We Burn
Part 2: Can Composting Save Us?
The Limits of Recycling

Behind The Story

Type: Investigative / Enterprise

Investigative / Enterprise: In-depth examination of a single subject requiring extensive research and resources.

Articles attributed to "staff" are written by the editor or a senior editor. This is typically because they are brief items based on a single source, such as a press release, or there are multiple contributors, such as a collection of photos.

Leave a comment

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. All online comments are moderated, must include your full name and may appear in print. See our guidelines here.