Recycling in Chittenden County can be broken down into two categories: Blue-bin recycling and special recycling.
Blue-bin Recycling refers to the specific items – paper, cardboard, and clean containers (like bottles, cans, and jars) – that belong in a recycling bin. We sort these items at our recycling facility in Williston.
Blue-bin recycling goes to the CSWD Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Williston, where items are sorted according to their shape and material type, baled, and sold to recycling companies. For details on what happens to glass bottles and jars, see our All About Glass page.
The following items can be placed in the same bin, whether you get curbside pickup service or drop off your blue-bin recycling at CSWD Drop-Off Centers. Recyclable items must be loose in the bin – NOT in a plastic bag. The only exception to this is shredded office paper, which is accepted only if it’s in a clear bag that’s tightly closed.
More about containers
We accept single-use containers that are empty & rinsed clean, including bottles, jars, cans, jugs, & tubs made from glass, metal, and plastic. We will also accept rigid plastic packaging.
The following items and materials are common mistakes that cause significant problems in the system, including dangers for workers at the MRF. Please DO NOT include them in your recycling bin:
- No dirty/food-coated containers
- No plastic bags or wrap
- No durable plastic containers (storage bins, laundry hampers, hard bottles, etc.)
- No hazardous waste containers (motor oil, pesticides, etc.)
- No containers or packaging smaller than 2 inches in two directions (length and width, or measurement across for lids)
These items and materials often appear in recycling bins. Though they do not cause significant problems or pose any dangers to staff, it benefits the system to leave them out and they will not be recycled into new products:
- Containers and packaging made from black plastic
- Containers and packaging with plastic resin codes #6/PS and #7/OTHER.
More about paper & cardboard
We accept uncoated paper and cardboard items that are clean & dry, including office paper, mail, newspapers, magazines, corrugated cardboard and boxboard.
Paper items that don’t belong:
- No wax- or plastic-coated cardboard
- No cartons (e.g. from milk, juice, or soup)
- No paper cups
- No padded envelopes
- No paper towels or napkins
Please, not in your bin
There are real people who sort the things you put in your recycling bin. When you put the wrong things in your bin, it can make their job gross—or downright dangerous. These items are some of the things that cause the most problems for us at our sorting facility. Please don’t put them in your recycling bin or cart.
These items don’t belong in your blue bin, but recycling options exist elsewhere.
These items should be dropped off at designated locations. Many of them, like scrap metal, electronics, and more are accepted at CSWD facilities. For others, there are a variety of drop-off locations across the state.
Select an item below to view recycling options, facilities, and any fees that may apply.