Home LifestyleHealth A Guide to Recycling in Hoboken + Tips on Reducing Carbon Footprints

A Guide to Recycling in Hoboken + Tips on Reducing Carbon Footprints

by Steph
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While some might think it is too much to think about one’s 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 the community out, we’ve shared the rules for recycling in Hoboken, as well as composting and reducing waste to truly make an impact.

hoboken recycling rules

Believe it or not, readers already doing a lot for the environment simply by being an urban dweller, such as a Hoboken resident. As a resident, chances are their 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 the climate.

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 waste that can be recycled. Garbage is collected on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Hoboken. Residents should have trash ready curbside the night before pick-up, the time depends on the location. Recycling in Hoboken works a similar way, with recycling days scheduled weekly for Mondays and Thursdays.

Since early 2020 the City of Hoboken fully enforced a new dual-stream recycling system. This 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 Monday evenings after  7:30PM, or 9PM for the limited business area which includes Washington Street.

Paper and cardboard items can be picked up on Thursdays and are to be flattened 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 for most of the city; and 9PM for 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 unusual materials, like garden and yard waste or furniture, visit the Hoboken Environmental Services website.

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. Since  2015, residents have had the option to compost in Hoboken, too. The City of Hoboken is 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 that 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 A Carbon Footprint

Many of us are also looking for more easy ways to cut down the amount of waste created.

  • 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 bought at a Farmer’s Market, the fewer packaged foods in the grocery store are purchased. Most vegetables and fruits come loose, sans packaging, so this purchase supports local agriculture as well as reduces waste.
  • Use reusable grocery bags. Say no to plastic bags in all capacities, especially at the grocery store. There is an endless array of reusable shopping bags available to cart groceries home.  Go one step further by eradicating the single-use plastic grocery stores provide for fruits and veggies by taking 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 the oceans, polluting and killing beloved marine life.  Opt for more sustainable options such as stainless steel or biodegradable paper straws instead.


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