Photos: Princeton Recycling Buckets Dumped in the Streets

Several residents have repeatedly complained about the town’s recycling hauler, Central Jersey Waste, dumping recycling bins in the streets after the bins are emptied. While it may seem like a small matter, some frustrated Princeton residents say the bins sometimes cause hazards — rolling in front of cars, blocking vehicles and taking up parking spaces. Sometimes the bins are dumped in the streets in front of residences on main roads like Route 206 and Princeton Pike. Drivers worry about accidents that could happen because of the situation.

recycling bins 1

recycling bins

recycling bins 2


  1. these guys took about half of my recycling and decided they had had enough and left the rest on the sidewalk. We need a new vendor for this.

  2. First Imani Perry and now this, Princeton is becoming Syria. The poor snowflakes of Princeton, will life ever return to Ozzy & Harriet?

  3. Once again it is raining before recycling pick-up day. Tomorrow one man will arrive on your street to take away truckloads of boxes & papers that are completely soaked in endless tons of rainwater. He won’t complain to you that, by not covering your trash & protecting the dry boxes from getting soaked, you made his job 500 times harder. Instead he’ll work like a pack animal climbing Everest, with no appreciation expressed by residents. He’ll also line up the cans or stack them neatly, as shown in the pictures above. Many times the weather may undo that effort, but he won’t complain when you blame him for what nature does. Instead, he will nobly shoulder the wrath of man & nature. I’d like to publicly thank the very hard-working, excellent gentlemen who visit my street on recycling day…Thank you, guys! The holiday card you delivered that said “Good Will Towards Men” was also appreciated & made me think about how awesome you are! Maybe part of the Mayor’s “Wellness Campaign” can be encouraging more neighborly acts of kindness towards each other, beginning with those who provide our needed services with dedication & no complaint…and extending to elderly or traveling neighbors who may need a hand with their empty cans. Lids for all receptacles would also be a huge act of kindness for our recycling crew. Think of the extra calorie burn you’ll get from being nice, folks!

  4. I’ve written extensively about this problem at Princeton’s curbside recycling program is run by Mercer County, and a big part of the problem is the yellow and green recycling buckets. Their shape and small size make them prone to spilling and rolling out into the street, plus the lack of lids is tough on both the crews and the trucks that have to haul the rain-soaked contents, not to mention residents who store their bins outside and then have to drag them to the curb. Modern recycling uses rollcarts, with wheels and attached lids, and hydraulic tipper hooks to lift the contents into the trucks and save the crews’ backs. I’ve been urging a modernization for years, to no avail. The institution is set in its way and there’s no changing it, as far as I can tell. Princeton could opt out of the county program and find its own hauler, with more modern containers, but there’s a loyalty to the county and possibly a cost saving with the current approach. Another downside to all the spillage is that the plastic ends up getting washed into Lake Carnegie, and could well eventually become part of the massive plastic pollution in the ocean. One particularly relevant post is at

    1. Thanks for posting the link, Steve. We watched as they picked up recycling along our street yesterday. There was no wind and the containers were not overflowing. The cardboard didn’t fall apart. They dumped all the cans in the street because it takes less time to do that than to put them back on the sidewalk/driveway.

      1. Sounds like one of the crew went rogue. Not good. Generally, I tend to sympathize with the workers, and wonder if they’re being rushed by the company, and have often wondered about the back issues they could develop with all the lifting. Less an issue now that recyclables are less weighed down with paper and glass, but there should be some data out there about this.

Comments are closed.