Northwest Vermont Solid Waste Management District ordinance requires that nearly all households, schools, businesses, and organizations in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties recycle. (The only area not covered by this ordinance is the Town of Fairfax.) Furthermore, as of July 1, 2015, state law requires recycling for all Vermonters.

Trash haulers are required to provide recycling services to all residents and businesses within the Northwest Vermont Solid Waste Management District (again, all Franklin and Grand Isle County towns other than the Town of Fairfax) Haulers must provide recycling statewide as of July 1, 2015).

If you are not receiving recycling services, please call (802) 524-5986 to let us know.

To aid households in recycling, Northwest Solid Waste District provides recycling drop-offs at 6 locations (at no charge to District member town residents) around Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

Recycle these materials in your blue bin or cart

  • Boxboard
  • Aluminum/steel/tin cans and foil
  • Glass food/beverage bottles and jars
  • Corrugated cardboard and paper bags
  • Plastic bottles, tubs and jugs
  • Clamshells and food trays (No Styrofoam)
  • Printing and writing paper, mail, phone books, newspapers, magazines, catalogs
  • See our A-Z List for items you are uncertain about!

See the chart below for details and preparation guidelines.

Download blue bin flyer
Download acceptable materials details

Do not include

Paper plates, cups and napkins


Household items and toys

Filmy plastic (bags)

Drink boxes

Milk or juice cartons

Acceptable materials details


Glass bottles and jars

Notes: Food and beverage containers only

Prohibited: Light bulbs, dishes/ceramics, Pyrex, drinking glasses, and windowpanes

Preparation: Rinse clean; Remove all lids; Recycle plastic lids


Aerosol cans

Notes: Cans must be empty

Prohibited: No full or partially full containers; Deliver paint, cleansers, automotive sprays, and other hazardous waste to the Georgia facility

Preparation: Separate caps from container; Recycle plastic caps over 2” (discard smaller caps); Do not puncture cans


Notes: Cans, foil, pie plates

Prohibited: No stuck-on food or grease

Preparation: Rinse clean

Metal cans

Notes: Food and beverage cans

Prohibited: No oil filters, bottle caps, scrap metal

Preparation: Rinse clean; Labels OK; Lids placed inside cans OK


Plastic; #1 - #7 containers & molded packaging (blisterpak)

Notes: Follow the rule of 2: minimum size = 2” on any 2 sides, maximum size = 2′ on any one side; Bottles, and tubs from jugs from foods, beverages, beauty products, cleaning products, detergents, etc.; 5-gallon pails; Takeout clamshell containers; Frozen food trays; Flower pots and trays

Prohibited: No Styrofoam or plastic bags! Filmy or pliable plastic (grocery bags, bubble wrap, etc.) is collected separately at drop-off sites; No foam polystyrene (Styrofoam) products such as cups, takeout containers, packaging blocks and peanuts, etc.; No laundry baskets, sleds, house wares, office products, etc; No motor oil containers; No electronics housings; No biodegradable plastics (PLA)

Preparation: Rinse clean; Important: Remove paper/cardboard inserts from blisterpak for recycling; Remove caps from containers and recycle those over 2” (discard smaller caps); Remove handles from pails; Recycle metal handles as scrap metal; Do not tie with string; Remember the Rule of 2



Notes: Cereal, shoe, and clothing boxes; 6- and 12-pack soda & beer carriers; Paper egg cartons; Dry-food boxes (pasta, rice, etc.); Tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper cores, etc.

Prohibited: No laundry detergent boxes, frozen- or refrigerated-food boxes, drink boxes, or milk/juice cartons; No paper plates or cups

Preparation: Empty and flatten; Remove and discard plastic liners; Recycle metal pour spouts as scrap metal

Corrugated Cardboard

Notes: Boxes with a wavy center layer

Prohibited: No oil-, paint-, or chemical-stained, wet, unclean, or wax-coated cardboard; No strapping or string; No plastic, filmy or foam packing materials

Preparation: Empty and flatten; Up to 1 cubic yard of up to 4′ sections accepted at drop-off sites; Staples, tape and labels OK


Envelopes, opened mail

Notes: White, manila, colored, gummed and window envelopes

Prohibited: No Tyvek or plastic envelopes; No mailers padded with bubble wrap

Preparation: Remove non-paper enclosures (CDs, plastic cards, etc.) and strings; Labels OK

Magazines, catalogs, soft-cover books

Notes: Glue- or staple-bound publications, paperback books, phonebooks, etc.

Prohibited: No plastic wrapping, CDs, spiral notebooks, 3-ring binders, plastic covers

Preparation: Must be clean and dry; Phonebooks OK year-round


Notes: All sections and inserts

Prohibited: None that are soaking wet or contaminated with paint, oil, pet waste, etc; No plastic bags

Preparation: Must be clean and dry; Remove from plastic bags; Do not tie with string.

Paper bags

Notes: All colors

Prohibited: No plastic-coated or -lined bags; No animal food or kitty-litter bags

Preparation: Must be clean and dry; Remove from plastic bags; Do not tie with string.

Shredded paper

Notes: Confidential documents

Prohibited: No shredded plastic; No plastic bags

Preparation: Empty paper from plastic bags

White & colored paper

Notes: Printed, letterhead, copier paper, glossy flyers, brochures, file folders, kraft paper, manila folders, index cards, construction paper, non-metallic wrapping paper, tissue paper

Prohibited: No pressure-sensitive duplication forms; No foil paper; No paper towels or facial tissue, or paper plates or cups; No stickers or sticker backing

Preparation: Must be clean and dry; Remove plastic tabs, paper clips and metal hanging-file strips; Staples OK

Benefits of recycling

Recycling benefits the environment by conserving energy and resources, and by reducing water use and the need for landfills.  It also benefits the economy.  According to the EPA, recycling generates five times more jobs than sending the same waste to a landfill.

To learn more about the benefits of recycling, check out this website from a concerned recycler. And remember, contact us with any specific questions that you might have.