Single Stream Recycling


What material can you recycle in single-stream?

  • All containers should be empty of food or liquid. Food containers should be rinsed.
  • Caps or lids should be put back on containers after rinsing.
  • Ideally, your recycling is placed clean and loose in your recycling toter. A liner is not necessary and is not recyclable so if you use a bag to line your indoor receptacle it is best to dump recyclables out of the bag into the outside bin and re-use the bag to line your indoor recycling or trash bin.
  • Containers don’t need to be crushed.
  • No Styrofoam of any kind.  

Acceptable Recycling Materials


Clean, dry, and unsoiled.

  • Paper Bags
  • All boxes, paperboard, waxed board (like cereal or tissue boxes)
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Cereal boxes
  • Computer and office paper, all kinds
  • Egg cartons (no Styrofoam)
  • Envelopes (transparent windows OK)
  • Juice or milk containers, with plastic caps and rings
  • Mail, magazines, catalogs
  • Newspapers
  • Office paper, file folders
  • Packing or craft paper
  • Phone books
  • Sticky notes
  • Shredded paper
  • Aerosal spray cans (must be empty)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paint cans (must be empty or dry)
  • Pie pans, trays, to-go containers
  • Scrap metal (any size as long as it fits in bin)
  • Steel (tin) cans

Must be empty, light rinse only. No Pyrex, ceramics or mirrors.

  • Bottles and jars (metal caps and lids are OK left on)
  • Drinking cups
  • Jars

Generally, solid plastic larger than a credit card can be recycled.

  • Antifreeze bottles (empty)
  • Buckets (metal handle OK)
  • Cups, lids and plates (no Styrofoam)
  • Containers, clamshells and to-go packaging
  • Garden/flower pots and trays
  • Hazardous chemical containers (only if empty)
  • Laundry detergent bottles
  • Motor oil bottles (only if empty)
  • Toys (no electronics, metal or batteries)
  • Tubs, trays and lids (like yogurt containers and Tupperware)
  • Utensils
See the Recyclopedia if you have any questions about any of the above.

Unacceptable Recycling Materials

Items marked in green are accepted at the Community Compost Program.

  • Batteries
  • Books/DVDs
  • Clothing, linens and rags
  • Construction debris
  • Corks
  • Electronics
  • Food scraps
  • Hazardous materials or chemicals
  • Light bulbs: incandescent, LEDs and fluorescent
  • Ink or toner cartridges
  • Major appliances
  • Medical waste or medicines
  • Mirrors
  • Plates and vases
  • Plastic bags and wrapping
  • Soiled paper napkins, tissues, towels
  • Styrofoam
  • Thin film plastic
  • Tiles
  • Trash
  • Window panes
  • Wire hangers
  • Wood
  • Wrappers: all plastic lining bags and wraps
  • Yard waste, leaves, trimmings
Cat litter belongs in the trash, but click here for more info about the less heavy and more sustainable alternatives to chemical-laden clay litter.

Now that plastic bags are no longer accepted in single stream recycling, what should we do with them?

  • Reuse them!
  • Then bring clean and dry bags to the Bedford Recycling Center or to your local grocery store.
  • OR put bags in the trash to be taken to the Peekskill incinerator and burned to make energy.

For information on how to dispose of non-recyclable items safely and legally, visit our Recyclopedia.

Download a printable PDF of the flyer with Recycling and other Disposal information for the Town of Bedford.