Recycling Division



The Recycling Division is responsible for planning, implementing and educating residents about the recycling program, overseeing the contractor collecting the recyclables, recycling enforcement, clean communities program implementation and overseeing the garbage contractor. In 2015, the Recycling Division recycled 10,297.81 tons of materials for a net revenue of ($15,932.96) and a recycling rate of 46%, one of the best in the State of New Jersey.

Recycling Collection

Cali Carting is the Borough contractor doing the curbside collections five days a week based on the town being divided into five sections. With the exception of changes due to holidays, the recycling and garbage collection days are as follows:  


Recycling Day
Garbage Day
 1  Tuesday Wednesday
 2 Wednesday Thursday
 3 Friday Monday
 4 Thursday Tuesday
 5 Monday Friday


The latest version of the Recycling & Garbage Handbook is always distributed through the Community Newspaper the week or so prior to Christmas. You may also download the 2017 version in PDF.

Plastic Bags & Container Regulations:

Due to stricter regulations at our recycling markets we are no longer able to take plastic bags or unacceptable materials with paper or commingle. Please separate these items from your recycling to ensure collection.

Paper may be placed out in a barrel if it displays a blue decal or in paper bags if they are secured to prevent being windblown and commingle must be in the Borough barrel or displays a red decal. These decals are available free of charge from the Recycling Division. Call 201-794-5341 to obtain one.

All recycling and garbage containers must be 32 gallons or smaller in size and have a tight fitting lid or have the contents secured in such a way as to prevent blowing on windy days. Containers that are over sized or over 40 pounds in weight will NOT be collected.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Mandated Materials:

The following items are required to be recycled by law. Placing recycling in the garbage costs Fair Lawn taxpayers in not only lost revenue from the sale of the recyclables but also the added expense of the garbage tipping fees.


Newspaper, magazines, junk mail, cardboard boxes, chipboard (cereal and food container boxes, copier paper, office paper, soft cover books, hard cover books (with the hard covers removed), empty pizza boxes, wrapping paper and shredded paper.

Containers (Bottles & Cans):
Glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, aluminum foil, tin cans, wax coated cartons, any plastic container with resin types 1 to 7, except styrofoam and plastic bags.

Yard Waste:
Grass, leaves, brush, branches (less than 3 inches in diameter and less than 3 feet in length) and Christmas trees (ornaments must removed, including tinsel). Remember to tie the branches.

Scrap Metal, Appliances and Electronics:
The Recycling Division will collect these items at he curb with an appointment (201-794-5341). Refrigerators (state law requires doors to be removed), stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, bed frames, water heaters, air conditioners, boilers, bicycles, BBQs or any item that is at least 50% composed of metal. Electronics includes items such as television, computers, monitors, cell phones, printers, VCRs, DVD players and video game consoles.

Residents are encouraged to reduce as much waste as possible to help reduce the costs of garbage disposal. One of the ways residents can reduce waste is by backyard composting. Download the BCUA composting flyer (pdf) to get started.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs: 
CFL (compact fluorescent bulbs) and the long fluorescent bulbs are not permitted to be disposed of in the garbage. They are considered a household hazardous waste and must be disposed of through a proper collection program. The Fair Lawn Recycling Center does NOT collect these bulbs. You can bring them to the BCUA Household Hazardous Waste collection days or check with Home Depot and Lowes who have some stores that accept them. For more information on CFLs visit the US EPA website

Smoke Detector Disposal: 
The most common type of smoke detector used in residential homes contains a minute amount of radioactive material. Although the amount of radioactive material contained in these detectors is so small that it does not pose a risk to human health, they may not be disposed of in the garbage. You can check with the place of purchase or the smoke detector manufacturer to see if they will take the detector back through a mail in program. Santa Barbara County, California has provided a flyer with options for smoke detector disposal that is very useful.

It is our understanding that Kiddie/Firex will accept smoke detectors from all manufacturers. You can mail your detector to them at: 

Kiddie / FIREX Safety Division
Attn: Alarm Disposal
1016 Corporate Park Drive
Mebane, NC 27302


The Recycling office is located at 20-05 Saddle River Road, where all recycling business is now conducted between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:15 pm, Monday through Friday. Be advised that the Recycling Coordinator may be doing work on the road and the office may be unattended during these hours periodically.

The recycling center accepts only residents and businesses from Fair Lawn, NJ. All others are prohibited from utilizing the recycling center with the exception of dropping off plastic toys for the collection program.

The Recycling Center is open as follows:

 Day of the Week
 Monday   7:00 am to 3:15 pm
 Tuesday   7:00 am to 3:15 pm 
 Wednesday   7:00 am to 3:15 pm
 Thursday   7:00 am to 3:15 pm
 Friday   7:00 am to 3:15 pm
 Saturday   9:00 am to 12:45 pm
 Sunday   Noon to 3:45 pm
 Holidays CLOSED

Landscaper Leaf Dump Permits:

Landscapers are required to obtain a permit to dump at the Fair Lawn Compost site. Permits are $100 per truck for the season. Landscapers may drop leaves from Fair Lawn residents only! Completed permit applications are to be brought to the DPW Office in Borough Hall for processing. Landscaper are required to drop off a dump slip at the Recycling office after each trip to the site.

Loose leaves that fall within the 10' right of way may be raked out into the street during the designated collection dates. The Road Division is responsible for the loose leaf collection program and queries regarding the program should be directed to 201-794-5304. Their collection schedule is posted and updated on the Borough website main page under the news section.  

Alternate Paper Collection:

The Recycling Division offers "blue" decals for residents to place on a sturdy container between 5 and 40 gallons for mixed paper collection. Barrels displaying this decal will be permissible for use in paper collection and would not be subject to the string-tie or paper bag rule for paper collection. Barrels are still limited to a maximum of 40 pounds. The decals are available in the Recycling office, calling 794-5341 or e-mail to Limit of one decal per household.

Business Recycling:

All businesses are required to recycle the same as residential homes. Businesses are required to file a "business recycling registration form" each year as well as report annual recycling tonnage to the Recycling Coordinator. View the business recycling page for more details.

Hazardous Materials:

The Fair Lawn Recycling Center is not allowed to accept any hazardous materials. These include, but are not limited to, propane tanks, paint, pool chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, or any chemical or chemical container. Residents may bring these items to the Bergen County Utilities Authority household hazardous waste collections. View their 2017 collection dates. As an alternative, residents may bring their hazardous waste to the Morris County Utilities Authority. More information can be found at their website. 

Construction Materials:

The Recycling Center will accept small amounts of construction material from a resident for a fee. Dump tickets must be purchased from the Department of Public Works, located on the second floor of Borough Hall. Each ticket is $50.00 each and must be turned in at the time of dumping.  Regular passenger cars require 1 ticket, anything larger, including SUVs, vans or pickup trucks require 3 tickets per drop off.  A car with a trailer requires 2 tickets per drop off. 

The Recycling Handbook has additional options regarding construction material. Please see page 5 of the handbook.

Recycling Barrels:

The recycling barrel program was discontinued in March 2010 and replacement barrels are no longer given. Recycling barrels that are no longer usable may call the Recycling Coordinator at 201-794-5341 to schedule to have your old barrel picked up and the serial number removed from your file. A red decal is required on your own barrel to designate the barrel has bottles and cans in it or the material may not be collected.  The Recycling Division is keeping a waiting list in case the program is reinstated.

Cancellation of Curbside:

Curbside recycling collection is cancelled when the contractor is unable to safely collect the materials due to the weather. An e-mail and facebook notice will be sent when recycling is cancelled. When curbside is cancelled, there will be no make up collection. Please remove the items from the curb for the next regularly scheduled collection.

Listing files in 'Recycling Division Documents'

Additional Resources: provides practical and straight-forward advice for how New Jersey citizens can reduce the amount of waste their households produce, with simple tips for waste reduction or reuse that do not require dramatic changes in lifestyle. It also gives suggestions for alternative ways for reusing some of the items residents might otherwise discard. Additionally, it provides information about additional recycling options that are not available through your local authority, but have been created by private businesses and charity groups, for the collection or redistribution of specific waste items, often at little or no expense to your constituents.

Earth 911: is a privately owned, for-profit company that specializes in providing consumers with accessible and actionable recycling information across the country. Its Recycling Directory is very comprehensive. It contains information for recycling over 240 different products. The Directory is free for consumers to use on the website, through the toll-free and bilingual hotline (1-800 CLEANUP) and with the free iPhone application (iRecycle). lists over 127,000 locations and programs that people can search in the directory to find local recycling and disposal resources. The information provided through the site’s directory, editorials and resources represents only fact-based, informational and useful content.  

Ink & Toner Cartridges: Several companies will accept ink and toner cartridges for recycling. Some will pay directly for the items while others will give store credit. Check with local or national office supply stores to see their policies and what is easy and beneficial for you.

Donate / Give Away: Instead of throwing away items that still have some useful life in them, consider offering them for free through You can post your item and receive e-mails from people who will come and pick it up. Other organizations such as Goodwill may also take some items to resell in their stores to finance their programs.


Additional Link                

Contact Information

Main Phone: (201) 794-5341
Hours: 7:00 am to 3:15 pm, Monday to Friday

Schedule Metal / Electronics:
(201) 794-5341

Ron Lottermann, CPWM, CRP, SRMP, CCCC
Title: Recycling Coordinator
Clean Communities Coordinator
Phone: (201) 794-5341

Recycling/Garbage Collection Vendor:
Cali Carting
Phone: (201) 991-5400