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Recycling Tips

  • Although collection is weekly, please wait until your cart is full or almost full, before placing them out for collection

  • To avoid being missed, carts should be placed out for collection by 6:00. They do not guarantee same time service every week. 

  • Garbage and recycling are collected on the same day, however may be at different times. 

  • For the automated arm to work properly, allow 2 feet of clearance between carts

  • Collection rarely will cancel due to inclement weather. Despite weather, unless you receive an email notification (by signing up for our distribution list) please have carts out as normal.

  • ONLY the holidays highlighted will change your collections times.  Collection schedule. Have carts out normally except for the holiday's specified.

  • If NON - recyclable items are found to be in your recycling cart, this will result in your cart not being collected. (yard waste, construction debris or items not accepted curbside)

  • All materials must be placed IN the cart. We can not pick up anything on top, or next to the cart. Additional recycling should be brought to theTransfer Station, the City's drop off location.


    • Plastic Chairs, pools, or toys
    • Tissue paper
    • Paper towels
    • Waxed paper or waxed cardboard (wax cardboard consists of food or frozen boxes coated with a material that prevents them from being soggy. This does not include milk or juice containers which are classified as paperboard and are recyclable)
    • **Styrofoam of any type (even though some Styrofoam may say that is #6 with the recycling logo, it is still unacceptable for the recycling.)
    • Any container that held a hazardous substance
    • Porcelain, ceramics or mirrors
    • Windows, ovenware, light bulbs
    • Batteries
    • Plastic Bags
    • Yard Waste
    • Electronics
    More information about garbage collection is on our trash collection page. **Please note Styrofoam will typically not fit into your curbside cart, but is accepted at the Transfer Station. If material does not fit "loosely" this may effect your cart being emptied properly. 

    • Rechargeable batteries (tools, cellphones, etc.) may be recycled at boxes at the Public Works Department, 351 North Street and at the Transfer Station on Foss Road. For more information about rechargeable batteries, follow this link.
    • NiCad and button cell batteries can be brought to a Household Hazardous Waste Day  for safe disposal
    • Alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9v) can be placed in your usual household trash. Want to know why?
    • Lead-acid batteries (auto, garden equipment) can be brought to any auto parts store for recycling.

    Many leftover or discarded building materials that are still in good working order, such as doors, windows and lumber can be donated to Habitat for Humanity for resale in their Portland or Kennebunk ReStores. The ReStores also accept used appliances that are less than 7 years old. This is a great way to keep useful materials out of the landfill or incinerator, also.. it's FREE to drop off! For more information, visit the Portland ReStore's web site or the Kennebunk ReStore's website

    Excess recyclables that do not fit in the cart can be brought to the city's transfer station on Foss Road during normal hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.),  This includes Businesses wishing to participate in recycling but do not qualify for the City's curbside collection. The City always allows FREE recycling disposal to everyone. Recycling does not need to be sorted, just needs to be on the list of allowable items. Please do not place plastic bags in our recycling containers. Allowable Items 

    Here are options for recycling bulk cardboard from commercial operations.

How to Recycle Your Paint                                    

Paintcare makes recycling your leftover paint almost as easy as buying new paint.
Convenient locations have been set up where you can take unwanted paint for reuse or recycling. Paintcare
sites take back all brands (not just the brands they sell) of acceptable house paint, stains, and varnish during
their regular business hours. The paint stores accept paint from anyone in their state. 
To use any Paintcare site, prepare your unwanted paint, stains, and other acceptable products by making sure the lids are secured tightly, no containers are leaking, and they have original labels and in their original containers. Please do not mix paints together. 
Please do not bring empty paint cans; they can be disposed of in your regular trash. Pack your paint cans in a sturdy cardboard box in your vehicle and take them to a PaintCare drop-off site during their advertised regular hours. PaintCare sites have limits on how much paint they can accept, but they all take at least 5 gallons of paint per visit; some sites take more. It’s always best to call the site before bringing in your paint. 

Products Accepted- PaintCare sites accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g. shellac and varnish), but do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we can accept are referred to as "Program Products" or "architectural paint," and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. There are no fees associated with drop off of acceptable items.

Accepted Products 

Drop off Locations

How to Recycle a usable Mattress: The average mattress has a lifespan of seven to eight years. Unless an old mattress is in complete disrepair, then you may be able to donate it to an organization that accepts used household goods. Some national charities that may receive old or used mattresses and mattress parts, see this website to find out some additional options

Where does the recycling go?
The City sends its recycling to Eco-Maine in Portland. Below are some links to specific information that you may find helpful as you recycle:

You may also find the following videos helpful:

Ecomaine: Recycling, Waste-to-energy and Landfill/Ashfill

How the Ecomaine single-sort process works

Single-sort recycling video by Roger McCord

Also, instead of having the two different carts for recycling, there will only be one, which will allow the recycling collection truck to spend less time in front of each household. 

The City started taking its garbage to Ecomaine in July of 2007. Because we were under contract for our recyclables, we could not switch the recycling program until January, 2008. Ecomaine has spent 3.5 million dollars on the equipment that they use to sort the recyclable materials that they receive. This equipment actually sorts all of the materials by machinery except the # 2-7 plastics. The #2-7 plastics are sorted by hand.