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Recycling in Hoboken + Tips on Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

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While some might think it too much to think {or even care} about your carbon footprint while living in a city, it’s essential. Reducing waste, recycling, and composting are things that are *not* just for those who live out in the country on a farm. Reducing waste and understanding the intricacies of the carbon footprint is just as important for us city dwellers as it is for anyone else. To help you out, we’ve shared the rules for recycling in Hoboken, as well as composting and reducing waste so that you are truly reducing your carbon footprint.

recycling hoboken

Believe it or not, you’re already doing a lot for our environment simply by being a Hoboken {or city} resident. As a resident, chances are your main modes of transportation include walking, bike riding, or taking public transportation like the Light Rail, PATH, or the New Jersey Transit bus. That does wonders for reducing waste as it reduces harmful gas emissions {like Carbon Dioxide} that negatively affect and ultimately alter our climate.

Interested in learning more about how you can reduce your own carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste you’re producing? Keep reading for more information on recycling and composting in Hoboken and tips for how to be more zero waste and environmentally friendly!

How To Recycle With Curbside Pick-Up in Hoboken

Thanks to Hoboken’s Department of Environmental Services, our city is relatively on top of things like cleaning public spaces, sweeping the streets, and taking {proper} care of trash and things that can be recycled. Garbage is collected on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Hoboken. Residents should have trash ready curbside by 9:00PM the night before pick-up. Recycling in Hoboken works a similar way, with recycling days scheduled weekly for Mondays and Thursdays.

As of January 6th, 2020 the City of Hoboken fully enforced a new dual-stream recycling system. What is dual-stream recycling? It is a system where, “where recyclables are separated into a ‘comingled’ stream of glass, aluminum, containers, cartons, and plastics numbered 1, 2 or 5 {to be picked up on Monday nights}, and a paper and cardboard stream {to be picked up on Thursday nights},” the City of Hoboken wrote in a press release.

This means that glass, aluminum, containers, cartons, and plastics can be recycled on Mondays. These items should be placed on the curb in a covered container or clear plastic bag {if necessary} on a Monday evening after  7:30PM {9:00PM for the limited business area which includes Washington Street, according to the aforementioned press release}.

Paper and cardboard items can be picked up on Thursdays and are to be flatted and placed on the curb or in a covered container, placed in a cardboard box or paper bag, or tied into bundles on Thursdays after 7:30PM {again, the same timing constraints above apply to the limited business area}. For more information on Hoboken’s recycling process, click here.

{Recycling parameters for businesses follow a different structure, which can be found here.}

For specific instructions about how to properly recycle and dispose of individual materials {like garden and yard waste or furniture}, check out an in-depth tutorial here.

How To Recycle At The Drop-Off Center In Hoboken

In addition to curbside pick-up for recycled materials, residents can also stop by the Recycling Drop-Off Center, located at Willow Avenue and Observer Highway. The Drop-Off Center is open Monday through Fridays from 9:00AM to 4:00PM and from 9:00AM to 12:00PM on Saturdays.

Materials residents can drop off include paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin, glass, plastic, metal appliances, furniture, motor oil, antifreeze, lead-acid batteries, and yard waste.

Read More: Where to Donate Food in Hoboken + Jersey City

How To Compost In Hoboken

Composting isn’t just for countryside farms  as of 2015, residents now have the option to compost in Hoboken, too. The City of Hoboken is now partnered with the Community Compost Company to bring Hoboken a residential pickup service for those interested in composting.

The Community Compost Company accepts collected food scraps and brings them to farm locations where the scraps can be recycled into compost {meaning that the scraps fertilize the dirt and turn into soil}.

Food scraps that are eligible for composting include all fruits, vegetables, meat scraps, bones, dairy, grains, eggshells, and coffee grounds.

Additional organic materials that can be composted include paper soiled with food, napkins, paper towels, uncoated paper, plates, and tea bags.

Here is a list of non-organic materials that are NOT eligible for composting: anything plastic, metal, aluminum foil, staples in tea bags, Styrofoam, liquids, frozen food boxes, chemicals and even compostable plastics.

How To Recycle Large Items

Hoboken has two “recycling” programs for automobiles. For a tax deduction, drivers can donate their used cars to Wheels for Wishes, an organization which raises money for Make-A-Wish chapters throughout the United States.

The second recycling program for cars is Vehicles for Veterans, which uses the proceeds from used car donations to benefit programs that provide invaluable services to veterans.

List Of Accepted Materials For Recycling

Here is a full list of all materials eligible for recycling: aluminum food and beverage containers, glass food and beverage containers {brown, clear or green}, iron cans, PET plastic containers {with symbol #1, screw-tops only, without caps}, HDPE natural plastic containers {with symbol #2}, plastics {with symbol #5}, rigid plastics with plastic milk/soda crates, plastic buckets with metal handles, plastic laundry baskets, plastic lawn furniture, plastic totes, plastic flower pots, plastic drinking cups and glasses, plastic 5-gallon water bottles, plastic pallets, empty plastic garbage and recycling bins, aseptic and gable-top cartons {juice, soy, broth, milk cartons}, newsprint, corrugated cardboard, magazines, catalogs, cereal boxes, telephone books, printer paper, copier paper, mail, and all other office paper {sans wax liners}.

Here is a full list of materials NOT accepted for recycling: plastic bags, microwave trays, mirrors, window or auto glass, light bulbs, ceramics, porcelain, unnumbered plastics, coat hangers {though these can be recycled at most dry cleaners}, glass cookware, and bakeware, and other household items {like cooking pots and toasters, etc}.

For more in-depth information about how to properly recycle this full list of eligible items, check out the waste collection department here.

See More: A List of Hoboken + Jersey City Charities to Donate to Year-Round

How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Now that you have some in-depth information about how to reduce your carbon footprint and more effectively recycle and compost in Hoboken, perhaps you’re looking for more easy ways to cut down the amount of waste you create. Keep reading for a few more tips for reducing waste!

  • Ditch plastic baggies. Stasher Bags are a washable, reusable alternative to plastic baggies. They are made out of silicone and can be frozen and cooked in a pot of boiling water as well. Stashers are self-sealing, air-tight, and are great for taking snacks {especially for kids} on the go, cooking, or freezing foods in bulk.
  • Take advantage of Hoboken’s three Farmer’s Markets in town. Shopping locally {and particularly, plant-based} is one of the greatest ways to reduce waste. Think about it: the more locally-grown fruits and veggies you buy at a Farmer’s Market, the less you are buying packaged foods in the grocery store. Most vegetables and fruits come loose, sans packaging, so not only are you supporting local agriculture, but you’re also cutting out unnecessary waste.
  • Use reusable grocery bags. Say no to plastic bags in all capacities, especially at the grocery store. You can use reusable {preferably organic cotton} shopping bags to cart your groceries home. Also, go one step further by eradicating the single-use plastic grocery stores provide for fruits and veggies. Instead, take your fruits and vegetables home in reusable mesh produce bags.
  • Swap out tinfoil and saran wrap. These unsustainable, single-use wraps are no longer necessary; instead, opt for a more sustainable option: beeswax wrap. It’s washable, reusable, and can last up to one year.
  • Say no to straws. The anti-straw legislation is having a moment right now and there’s good cause for that. Americans use 500 million straws per day, the vast percentage of which end up in our oceans, polluting and killing our beloved marine life. Eradicate straws from your lifestyle altogether or opt for more sustainable options such as stainless steel or biodegradable paper straws instead.


Written by:

Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

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