FAQ: Garbage & Recycling
Please click on a topic link below.
Disposing of Unused and Expired Medication
Disposing of Propane Tanks
Disposing of Residential Refrigerators, Freezers,
Room Air Conditioners, and Dehumidfiers
Disposing of Construction Materials
Disposing of Old Paint
Recycling Batteries

Recycling Metal Hangers

Disposing of Pizza Boxes

Q. How do I dispose of unused or expired medication?

A. Some of these medications can cause environmental damage if disposed in the sewer system because they are not adequately destroyed by sewer treatment plants and can enter the water supply. Disposing medications down the sink or toilet is no longer recommended since many of the substances have been identified in the water supply.

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) has advised the Township of Wyckoff that all prescription medications should be safely disposed of by the following:

  1. Dispose of pills or capsules in household trash, taking care that children or animals cannot access the materials. Non-descript packaging is advisable to avoid trash harvesting for potential reuse.
  2. Wrap glass vials of injectable medications in layers of absorbent materials (such as a rag or paper towel) then place in a plastic bag. Tie bag securely and hit with hammer on a hard surface to break glass. Dispose of entire package in household trash.
  3. Unwrap prescription suppositories and dispose suppositories and foil wrappers household trash.
  4. Syringes containing medication should be expelled into paper towels, which should be bagged and disposed of in the household trash. Used empty syringes should be placed in a sharps container, or hard plastic or metal container with screw on or tightly secured lid (e.g., plastic laundry detergent container). Mark the container-“Used Syringes and Lancets”. Discard in household trash.
  5. Unwrap medication contained in skin patches discard separately in household trash.
  6. Empty prescription medication powders into household trash. Empty containers should then be placed in the household trash.
  7. Liquid medication (including eye drops) should be poured or squeezed from container. Dispose of empty container in household trash.
  8. Controlled substances should be returned to the prescribing physician or pharmacist. Federal law regarding controlled substances such as narcotics states, "no person shall be in control of (i.e., possess) a controlled substance (i.e., drug) unless they are properly registered by the Federal Government (e.g., pharmacists, physicians) or are the recipient of a prescribed drug (i.e., a patient)."

All unused or expired medications should be safely disposed of when no longer needed. Never take any medication prescribed for someone else. Medications should be stored out of reach of children.

Back to top

Q. Are residents allowed to bring emptied propane tanks to the Wyckoff Recycling Center?

A. The Wyckoff Recycling Center located at the end of West Main Street is no longer able to accept propane tanks. The Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) has advised the Township of Wyckoff not to collect emptied propane tanks in household garbage or at the Wyckoff Recycling Center since empty propane tanks may explode while being crushed in the operations of these collection vehicles. Empty propane tanks are considered household hazardous materials and should be disposed of at the BCUA's Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection days -- click here for schedule -- or residents may consult the vendor who fills their propane gas containers.

Back to top

Q. How should I dispose of my residential refrigerator, freezer, water cooler, room air conditioner or dehumidifier?

A. The refrigerant used in appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, water coolers, room air conditioners, or dehumidifiers must be processed by certified technicians. Therefore, if the retailer from whom you’ve purchased the new unit does not provide for proper disposal of these appliances, either bring it to the Recycling/Conservation Center or call the Wyckoff Recycling Coordinator at 201-891-7000 ext 118 to arrange for curbside pick-up. Remember that the doors must be removed from refrigerators and freezers before placing the unit at the curb or for any other disposal.

Central air conditioning units are considered construction material and private pickup must be arranged. Before installing or replacing central air conditioning, you must obtain a building permit from the Building Department located in Town Hall.

A comprehensive list of items and how you can dispose of them can be found on our website under Garbage and Recycling. We must all share the responsibility for proper disposal of these appliances.

Back to top

Q. We recently began remodeling our house. When I obtained the building permit I was advised that building and construction materials cannot be placed with the regular garbage. What should be done with this material?

A. There are a few reasons why building material is not accepted in the municipal garbage collection. First, construction and demolition debris is no longer allowed in any municipal waste as per state regulations. This material is disposed of or recycled separately. Second, the Township's household garbage (table waste, food packaging, etc.) and recycling collection is garbage and recycling which is regularly generated from a typical home. Construction debris from a home renovation is not household garbage. It would be unfair to those residents who were not remodeling their home to pay for other resident's construction debris. The removal of construction debris is usually and customarily part of the cost to renovate one's home.

When disposing of remodeling or construction debris, residents are advised to call a garbage disposal or recycling company and arrange for a special pickup. A listing of companies in the area which perform this service can be found in your phone book under "rubbish" and or "recycling." Special items also require a special collection. For more information regarding garbage and recycling collection in Wyckoff please visit the Garbage and Recycling portion of our website.

Back to top

Q. How do I dispose of old paint?

A. If the old paint is latex (water-based), remove the lid and let it air dry. Peel the dried paint skin from the can and toss it in with your household garbage. Then, simply bring the empty metal paint can at Recycling Center on West Main Street. However, oil-based paints (and varnish) are considered hazardous household waste products. You'll have to save them for the Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) Hazardous Waste Collection. You can call the BCUA Household Hazardous Waste Hotline at: 201-807-5825 or click on Bergen County Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule and Locations.

Back to top

Q How do I dispose of used batteries?

A. Batteries should be disposed of as follows:

• Flashlight and game batteries (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V) should be placed in trash container in curbside collection.
• Rechargeable household batteries may be returned to the store where you purchased them or bring them to the Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) Hazardous Waste Collection days. (Check the BCUA website.)
•Cell phone batteries may be returned to the store where you purchased them, brought to Town Hall, placed in receptacle located at the Recycling Center or bring them to the Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA) Hazardous Waste Collection days.
• Automotive batteries (along with motor oil, tires and antifreeze) may also be recycled. Call your local service station to determine if they provide this service, or check the BCUA website.

Back to top

Q: My dry cleaners does not accept used metal hangers for recycling. Is there a place in town where I can bring them?

It is our understanding that there are dry cleaners in Wyckoff who will accept metal clothes hangers for recycling. However, as an alternative to returning used metal hangers to the dry cleaners, residents may bring their metal hangers (paper/cardboard removed) to the Township's Recycling Center located on West Main Street. The Recycling Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm from October through April. From May through September, the center is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and Tuesday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Back to top

Q: Why can't pizza boxes be recycled?

A: Pizza boxes are made from corrugated cardboard, however, the cardboard becomes soiled with grease, cheese, and other foods once the pizza has been placed in the box.  Once soiled, the paper cannot be recycled because the paper fibers will not be able to be separated from the oils during the pulping process.  Food is a major source of contamination in the various paper categories.


Back to top