What can I recycle from my home?

Find out from your local solid waste facility, recycling center, or municipal office where you can recycle the following materials:

  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogues, and phone books (find out how to reduce your junk mail at www.dmachoice.org). 
  • Mixed paper - Most types of clean paper, envelopes, cereal boxes, junk mail, milk cartons.
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Tin and aluminum cans
  • Plastics - #1-7, containers, lids, plastic packaging.
  • Rigid plastics - 5 gallon buckets, plastic lawn chairs, milk & soda crates, landscape trays, coolers, toys and playhouses, pet carriers, CD & DVD cases, VHS tapes, garbage cans (empty), and more.
  • Corrugated cardboard and brown paper bags
  • Electronics, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermostats, mercury thermometers and other mercury devices.  (Best Buy & Staples offer free recycling for many electronics; check their web sites for details.)

Can I recycle this? has information on how to “Recycle Smart” to ensure your town gets the most value from your recycling. Learn what can and cannot be recycled. (created by Massachusetts DEP)

Free Recycling Programs. Some materials not accepted in your municipal recycling program may be recycled for free through a mail-back program.

Batteries
There are hundreds of locations in Maine that collect rechargeable batteries for recycling.  Recycling options for single-use (alkaline) batteries are more limited. Learn more about battery recycling in Maine.
When you replace your car battery, return the old battery to the store where you bought your new battery to have $10 refunded to you or credited toward the purchase of a new battery.
Bottles and cans
Most beverage containers (except milk products and fresh apple cider) purchased in Maine can be returned to grocery stores and redemption centers. You will be rewarded with 5 cents for each smaller container and 15 cents for wine & liquor bottles. Learn more about Maine's beverage container redemption program.
Your local solid waste facility or recycling center may also take returnable bottles and cans and use the proceeds to support local projects and needs.
Carpet and carpet padding
There are many different kinds of carpet, and nearly all are recyclable. Ask your retailer or contractor if they will take your old carpet for recycling. They may charge a fee for this service as carpet is expensive to transport and there are no carpet recycling facilities in Maine. How to recycle carpet.
Cell Phones
Maine law requires the recycling of all cell phones. Check with your cell phone service provider or search the web to find a cell phone donation and/or recycling program. How to recycle cell phones.
Electronics
Electronics recycling in Maine.
Fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-added lamps
Many participating retail stores and other locations accept fluorescent lamps for recycling free of charge. Fluorescent and HID Light Bulb Information
Gypsum drywall
Check with your local transfer station or landfill; many accept drywall for recycling.
Inkjet cartridges
Some manufacturers include a free mailer with each new inkjet cartridge so you can send your used cartridges in for recycling. You can also bring them to office supply stores to recycle; some stores will give you credit toward the purchase of new cartridges. How to recycle ink cartridges.
Medical sharps
Used medical sharps are the single leading cause of workplace injuries for workers managing solid waste. To help avoid such injuries, household consumers should put their used sharps into sealed rigid, leak and puncture proof containers (such as a laundry detergent jug) label the container with the words "USED SHARPS", and take them to a local collection site or your local solid waste facility. DO NOT put them with your recyclables. Contact your local hospital to find out if they accept sharps from their patients. Safe disposal of household medical sharps.
You can also purchase a postage-paid container to collect your used sharps and mail full containers back to the service provider for proper disposal. Frequent medical sharps recycling questions.
Medications
Contact your local police department, sheriff’s office, or hospital to find out where to bring your unused medications for proper disposal (medications can’t be recycled). Collection site locator. Do not flush your unused medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash because this causes pollution and poses health hazards to people and animals. Be sure to keep the medications in their original containers so that they can be easily identified for proper handling and disposal by the collection site, but cross out your name and address to protect your privacy. How to recycle unwanted and expired medications.
Mercury thermostats
Many local hardware stores participate in collecting mercury thermostats and incentives are also available. Learn more about mercury thermostat recycling in Maine.
Motor oil and antifreeze
Many local garages will take your used motor oil at no charge. VIP, Haley’s, and others also accept antifreeze fluid to process into new product; they may charge a small fee for this service. How to recycle automotive fluids.
Paint
Maine has a free paint recycling program. Learn more, including how to find paint drop-off sites near you.
Plastic bags and plastic film
Hannaford, Shaws and Wal-Mart all have collection kiosks for plastic bags and plastic film. Other stores may also offer this service. Learn more about the different types of plastic film you can recycle with your plastic bags.
Propane tanks
If you have a propane cylinder that can't be refilled, call your local propane dealer to see if they offer a tank recycling service. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Gas Propane" for propane dealers near you. If your local propane dealer won't take them, check with your town office or solid waste facility to find out what arrangements they have for residents to get rid of old tanks. Towns are working with propane dealers, cylinder recyclers, and scrap metal dealers to get the lowest price possible for getting tanks recycled.
Smoke detectors
Federal law requires manufacturers to take back smoke detectors that contain a radioactive source. Check the brand of your smoke detectors and contact the manufacturer to find out how to return them. This N.H. Department of Environmental Services Fact Sheet includes a listing of brands and information for returning smoke detectors to the manufacturers. (Leave DEP, PDF)
Styrofoam® peanuts
Check with your local recycling center to see if they collect styrofoam peanuts or know of local businesses or organizations that can use your packing peanuts. How to recycle packing peanuts.
Tires
Most solid waste facilities accept tires for recycling; many charge a small fee for this service. Some tire retailers also will take tires for recycling for a fee. How to recycle tires.