LeBoeuf staffer setting out a new recycling bin for residential use.

What Is Single-Stream Recycling?

Recycling was one of the first initiatives in the US to help reduce waste by taking out products that could be processed into new products. Today, after numerous reiterations, we’ve seen almost universal (and within New England, complete) acceptance of so-called “Single-Stream Recycling” as the best option for residents, municipalities, and businesses that process recycled products. Learn more about it as it applies to consumers, including why certain products aren’t allowed and how to avoid recycling fines.

The Basics of Single-Stream Recycling

Below is our recycling signage for our Massachusetts and Connecticut customers. It’s available for download and review on our customer page if you want a larger version.

A flyer for LeBoeuf single-stream recycling, with allowed recyclables, tips, and links to more information.


Single-steam or “mixed recycling” allows all products to be recycled in the same bin. It accounts for the majority of commercial and residential recycling in New England due to its efficiency and cost savings. Still, it’s a little more complicated than just dumping everything into the bin. Namely, you need to rinse out containers and separate paper from plastic (such as liners), and certain products aren’t allowed. Learn more about the banned products below.

Keeping Out Dangerous Products from Recycling

Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have waste bans on certain products. While some of these are to be recycled, others need to be disposed of at specialized centers. These include things like aerosol and propane cans, motor oil, and antifreeze. Others like light bulbs need to be disposed of in the trash.

The Situation with Recycling Plastic

Examples of plastic recycling codes. Each number is for a different kind of plastic.
Examples of plastic recycling codes. Each number is for a different kind of plastic.

While many plastic products may say they are recyclable, only certain types should actually go into recycling as others aren’t commercially viable. Plastics marked with #1 through #7 are recyclable, but materials like plastic wrap or bags need to go in the trash. If the plastic isn’t marked with any recycling symbol, it can’t be recycled.

Single-stream recycling makes it easier to recycle, but does your current waste management company make it hard? It’s time to talk to LeBoeuf Rubbish Removal. We have over 50 years of experience helping Massachusetts and Connecticut individuals and organizations tackle garbage and recycling. Learn more about our residential services, including garbage and recycling, and see the other resources we provide for our community, like this blog. Contact us today with any questions or to get started with a better recycling program. We are at your disposal.

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