Recycling is more than just a feel-good activity or a way to teach environmental stewardship in school. Recycling is an economic engine that has created job opportunities in Delaware and has significantly reduced Delaware’s rate of trash disposal while extending the life of our landfills.
Delaware’s single stream recycling program accepts many items curbside (or in a dumpster). “Single stream” recycling is a system where all traditional recyclables such as cans, cardboard, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper, and plastics, are placed in the same container (cart or dumpster), separate from your trash.
However, many things can be recycled at drop-off programs throughout the State. Find a close solution for that item you need to get rid of by typing it into the Recyclopedia search box.
Starting July 1, 2022, all retail stores in the State of Delaware will no longer provide plastic bags at checkout. An updated plastic bag ban, passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2021, expands the 2019 bag ban to all retail stores (excluding restaurants) regardless of size and bans all plastic bags at checkout.
Recycling is the same, whether you are at home, at work, or at school. Place loose recyclables, not bagged, in your recycling cart or dumpster. Completely empty all containers before recycling; there should be no food waste.
Do not include plastic bags; they must be returned to stores for recycling and placed in the at-store drop-off bins.
Recycling conserves valuable natural resources and energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps us take responsibility for our waste today, as opposed to leaving a burden for future generations.
Under Delaware’s Universal Recycling Law, all waste haulers who provide residential trash collection service must include recycling collection service. The law also requires businesses, schools, not-for-profit, and government services to participate in a comprehensive, universal recycling program.
The DNREC recycling staff offers free, non-regulatory assessments of commercial waste streams and waste management practices. And DNREC works with the Recycling Public Advisory Council and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority to promote and support recycling in Delaware.
Some special wastes may require certain handling procedures and may pose a threat to human health or the environment. You should keep these materials separate from regular trash and out of landfills. Many of these materials can be recycled through one of several programs or they can be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.
The Division of Public Health offers prescription drug take-back events and medication collection boxes at several locations.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority accepts electronics for recycling at several locations throughout the state and at regularly scheduled collection events.
Used oil and oil filters are accepted at several DSWA Drop-off Centers as well.
Yard waste may not be disposed of with your trash or in Delaware landfills. The best way to dispose of yard waste is to recycle it on-site.
You can “grasscycle” by using a mulching mower and leave grass clippings to enrich your lawn. Compost yard waste and kitchen scraps for use in your garden.
Your waste hauler may offer yard waste collection, or you can take it to a drop-off facility.