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Recycling Division

Contact Information

Phone Numbers:
  Missed Garbage / Recycling Collections: 
201-991-5400 (e-mail:
  Metal / Electronics Appointments: 201-794-5341
  Recycling Coordinator, Ron Lottermann: 201-794-5341

Recycling Office Hours: 7:00 am to 3:15 pm, Monday to Friday
Vendor Website:

2020 - Recycling & Garbage collection handbook 

Clean and Green Guide


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 2018, the Recycling Division recycled 12,176.66 tons of materials and a recycling rate of 50%, one of the best in the State of New Jersey.

Recycling & Garbage Collection

Cali Carting is the Borough contractor doing the curbside collections.  There is a second collection per week from the first full week of June through the last week in August. With the exception of changes due to holidays, the recycling and garbage collection days are as follows:  

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

* July 4th holiday - No garbage collection and no make up. 

View the section map

Plastic Bags & Container Regulations:


Plastic bags are prohibted from being used as a container for any recycling and will result in non-collection. Paper bags are acceptable for yard waste and paper recycling only. All recycling can be placed in a sturdy barrel, not weighing more than 40 pounds and not over 40 gallons in size for collection. The Recycling office has decals available for bottles / cans and paper to place on your container. To obtain the decals, e-mail Remember to include your address and how many of each decal you require. (blue = paper / red = bottles & cans). The Borough recycling barrel program was discontinued in March 2010 and replacement barrels are no longer given. Residents with 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.


Garbage must be placed in a sturdy container with a tight fitting lid. Loose bags of garbage are not permitted. 

  • Cardboard boxes are prohibited from being used as a container for garbage. 
  • Containers must not be over 40 gallons in size.
  • Containers must not weigh more than 40 pounds, including contents.
  • Containers with an opening that is smaller than the base are not permitted for use. 
  • Each house is limited to 4 barrels of garbage per collection day. 
  • Each house is permitted 1 piece of furniture per garbage day. 
  • Construction material is not collected with garbage, except on the two designated days. 
  • Hazardous waste is prohibited from being placed in the garbage. 
  • Liquids are prohibited from being placed in the garbage. 
  • Tipping the crew or paying them to take extra material is strictly forbidden and punishable under the law. 

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.

Paper: (Flyer:  Paper/Cardboard Regulations Updated 5/2018)
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) and shredded paper. NO food contaminated items (such as pizza boxes) or wax coated boxes or cartons. 

The Recycling Division offers "blue" decals for residents to place on a sturdy container between 5 and 40 gallons for mixed paper collection. The decals are available in the Recycling and DPW offices.

Bottles & Cans (Commingle): (Flyer:  Bottles & Cans Regulations Updated 10/2018)
Glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, clean aluminum foil, tin cans, plastic jars, bottles, jugs and family size food tubs (such as the family size margarine) and wax coated (gable top) containers. All food must be washed from the materials. Containers that are contaminated with unacceptable materials will not be collected. 

The Recycling Division offers "red" decals for residents to place on a sturdy container between 5 and 40 gallons for bottles & cans collection. The decals are available in the Recycling and DPW offices.

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). Branches must be tied or secured in paper bags or barrels. Logs and tree stumps are not collected at the curb. Have your contractor dispose of them. 

Backyard Composting:
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.

Scrap Metal, Appliances and Electronics:
The Recycling Division will collect these items at the curb, generally on your recycling day, with an appointment (201-794-5341). Appointments must be made at least the business day before your recycling day. Refrigerators (state law requires doors to be removed. Glass / plastic shelving and drawers are garbage), stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers (metal tubs only. Plastic tub machines are garbage), bed frames, water heaters (with plumbing inspection sticker), air conditioners, boilers, bicycles, BBQs  (no charcoal, briquettes or propane tanks permitted) or any item that is at least 50% composed of metal. Electronics includes television (projection and console TVs are garbage), computers, monitors, cell phones, printers, VCRs, DVD players and video game consoles. DO NOT CUT THE CORDS OFF TELEVISIONS OR OUR RECYCLING MARKET WILL NOT ACCEPT THEM.

Specialty Items

Hazardous Waste: (Paints, chemicals, etc.)
The Fair Lawn Recycling Center does not accept any hazardous materials. Federal and State laws prohibit hazardous waste to be put out with garbage collection. These items 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 2020 collection dates. As an alternative, residents may bring their hazardous waste to the Morris County Utilities Authority. There is a fee and residents must schedule a drop off appointment with them. More information can be found at their website. 

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

Plastic Toys:
Through our cooperation with Second Chance Toys, the Fair Lawn Recycling Center is able to accept plastic toys for donation. These toys are given to underprivileged children, including those in battered women's shelters. We must adhere to Second Chance Toy's regulations for acceptable materials:

- The toy cannot fit through or into a toilet paper roll.
- Toys must be CLEAN.
- Toys must be in WORKING ORDER and COMPLETE. No missing pieces and fresh batteries installed.
- Toys must be plastic only. No cloth components.

The following items are NOT ACCEPTED:
- stuffed animals
- car seats
- bouncy play seats
- strollers
- board games
- broken or unusable toys.

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 Center will accept tires from residents only, not businesses. The tires must be off the rims and a fee of $1.00 per car tire is charged. See the attendant at the recycling center for payment instructions. Exact change or a check made out to the Borough of Fair Lawn are the only methods of payment.

Used Clothing: (Currently our vendors are NOT collecting materials)
The Recycling Center has bins for the donation of used clothing. The Recycling Division does NOT give receipts for donations. Clothing must be in usable condition.

Recycling Center Hours: (REOPENS ON MONDAY, MAY 11th)

The Recycling Center is located at 20-05 Saddle River Road. 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 Hours
Monday 7:00 am to 3:20 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am to 3:20 pm 
Wednesday 7:00 am to 3:20 pm
Thursday 7:00 am to 3:20 pm
Friday 7:00 am to 3:20 pm
Saturday 9:00 am to 12:50 pm
Sunday Noon to 3:50 pm
Holidays* CLOSED

*Includes Borough holidays, Easter Sunday and when a major holiday falls on a weekend.


The Fair Lawn Recycling Center has free compost available for residents when it is available from our contractor. Residents are limited to 1 barrel per week. If you are in need of larger quantities, see the contractor, Downes Tree Service, in the compost area. The Borough reserves the right to limit or deny anyone taking compost for abuse of the limitations or any other reason.   

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.

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. Residents are also encouraged to list their items on Facebook groups like Fair Lawn Freecycle to encourage reuse of items no longer wanted.


Last Updated: Mon, 05/18/2020 - 7:54am