Don’t Let Your Bin Get Rejected!


Don’t Let Your Bin Get Rejected!

 (Ithaca, NY) – If you’re still not recycling correctly, now is the time to get your bin in order.  Starting November 1st, recycling bins and set-outs that do not follow the guidelines for Tompkins County will receive Rejection stickers and be left at the curb uncollected. This measure will ensure that Tompkins County continues to produce clean, high quality recyclables with low contamination that don’t get rejected by recycling markets.

Making sure that your recycling gets collected is easy, and information about what is accepted in your curbside bin can be found at and in the Curbside Recycling Guidelines for Tompkins County brochure. Some of the most common mistakes residents make include putting plastic bags and film, Styrofoam electronics, and garbage in the recycling bin. Any plastic items must include a number 1, 2, or 5 recycling symbol to be accepted.

In the event that a bin does get rejected at the curb, residents can make corrections and then either try again on their next collection day, or bring their recycling directly to the Recycling and Solid Waste Center at 160 Commercial Ave in Ithaca.

“We’d like to thank residents for doing their part to be informed about recycling and taking steps to make sure their bins can be collected,” said Seth Dennis, Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist. “Together we can make sure recycling continues to be a success in our community.”

The plan to reject bins with contamination follows a one year “Warning” phase and decades of education from the Department of Recycling and Materials Management. During the “Warning” phase, recycling set outs that received warning stickers for incorrect recycling decreased from an initial high of 720 to less than 300 per collection period.

Information about what items are accepted for recycling can be found at, and in the 2019-2020 Curbside Recycling Guidelines brochure, available at all municipal offices, the Department of Recycling and Materials Management office, the Recycling and Solid Waste Center, and at the customer service desk of most grocery stores in Tompkins County. also features a useful “What Do I Do With?” tool, which allows residents to search for information about how to recycle or dispose of any item.

The Department of Recycling and Materials Management would like to thank residents and the community for taking note of proper recycling and adjusting their habits accordingly.


Seth Dennis, Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist

Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management

(607) 273-6632