Recycling Rules

Recycling didn't get collected?  Here's why.

As of Monday, April 6th, 2020 Malden’s trash & recycling hauler JRM will begin strictly enforcing proper recycling procedures and will be leaving behind all recycling materials that are not in compliance. The quick reference guide below shows how most items are recycled.

Recycle Smart Partner Flyer

This guide is also available in six other languages

What are some common mistakes that are made?

Even the most conscientious recyclers must be careful to make sure they are following JRM’s requirements. Here are some common mistakes.

  • Not washing out cans/bottles/jars and having food still on them;
  • Pizza boxes or other takeout food containers with food or grease on them;
  • Styrofoam materials (not recyclable); and
  • Using a plastic bag to contain your recyclables - recyclables MUST be in bins/barrels.
  • Putting in tangling items such as wires, string or twine.

I have made many of these mistakes before and JRM took the items away.  Why now?

Recycling markets are constantly changing.  The companies that purchase recycled materials are getting stricter and stricter with what they will accept.  When the demand was high for recycled raw material, having some of it be non-compliant was not an issue.  Now markets are so strict that they will sometimes disqualify an entire truck’s worth of material if only 10% of it is wrong.

JRM has made this change in neighboring communities already.  Malden is now joining those communities in an effort to mitigate these recycling issues.

How do I find out if I can recycle an item not listed on the quick reference guide?

You can find out how to dispose of or recycle just about any material by using our Waste Wizard database.  If you still can’t find the item listed or if you are still unsure, dispose of it in your trash rather than take the chance of having your recycling rejected.  When in doubt, throw it out.

Do I still have to separate mixed paper and cardboard from commingled bottles, jugs, jars and cans?

Yes.  Malden is currently still a dual-stream recycling community.  You may see JRM throw the items into the same compartment of their truck which can be confusing.  This is because they are responsible for sorting the recycling once it is picked up. Because Malden is still a dual-stream community, we must still separate our recycling.

What happens when the City switches to the new proposed plan for covered single stream carts?

If the proposed new plan goes into affect, the rules about what can and can’t be recycled will stay the same so it’s important that we begin to make these changes now ahead of the proposed change

View the demonstration video below for some tips on proper recycling.