Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do with non-common household items?

From Yard Trash, to Electronics, to your leftover Wine Bottles... just about everything has its place.

  • Air Conditioners
  • Asbestos
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs & Lamps
  • Carpets & Rugs
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Cooking Grease & Oil
  • Ink & Toner Cartridges
  • Medical Waste & Sharps
  • Tires
  • Yoga Mats

Check with the DEEP to see how you should dispose of your item in question.

Where can I donate or recycle electronic items?

The State of CT DEEP maintains a listing of places where you can donate or recycle household electronic items such as PC's, Laptops, TV's, Cell Phones & other mobile devices.

Which items can be recycled curbside?

The same material is collected in round pails with handles, 18 gallon containers, or large single stream recycling containers.

Acceptable items include:

  • Metal and Plastic food and beverage containers
  • Paper cartons (milk or juice boxes)
  • Plastics #1 through #7
  • Newspaper, magazines, catalogs, office paper, boxboard (shoe and cereal boxes), and folded or flattened cardboard (maximum 2' by 3') also are collected curbside.

Residential mixed paper does not include:

  • wax or plastic inserts from cookie or cereal type boxes
  • frozen food boxes
  • painted or crayoned paper
  • overnight envelopes
  • hardcover books
  • scratch-off lottery tickets
  • colored file folders
  • foil-lined paper

Can I recycle junk mail, catalogs & phone books?

TROC communities also accept junk mail, as well as newspaper, magazines, and catalogs. Options for recycling residential mixed paper, include junk mail, writing paper, white-only construction paper, soft cover books, telephone directories, brown paper grocery bags, brown envelopes, and packing paper.

What should I place at the curb for trash pick up?

Food waste, non-recyclable paper and plastic packaging, small metal items, small appliances (toasters, clocks and clock radios), and clothing are typical examples. Maximum container size is generally 32-gallon, unless your trash collector has automated equipment for handling larger containers.


  • Medical waste
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Electronics
  • Leaves or grass clippings
  • Tree limbs or stumps
  • Hazardous materials
  • Auto/marine batteries
  • Automotive fluids (oil and antifreeze)
  • Propane/pressurized gas cylinders
  • Refrigerators, washers/dryers, air conditioners, and other appliances are recyclable
  • Rechargeable batteries

Check with your local Public Works department, the DEEP, or see our information on Household Hazardous Waste 

How do I dispose of sharps, prescription medicine & OTC medicine?

Do not flush prescription medicines or OTC products down the sink or toilet!

Although using the toilet or sink prevents someone from accidentally taking the medications, disposing of them in this way causes water pollution and has adverse effects on septic systems, sewage treatment plants, fish and other aquatic wildlife. Trace amounts of all kinds of drugs have also been found in some drinking water supplies because they pass through septic systems and sewage plants untreated.

The best way to dispose of prescription medicines and OTC products is to put them in the trash. In CT, most of our trash is burned at Resource Recovery Facilities at very high temperatures that destroy these products. You can participate in a "take-back" program.

By following the instructions in the downloadable PDF listed below, you will protect your privacy, discourage unintended consumption of the drugs and protect our water. (Remember to follow these instructions for any pet medications you have, too.)

If possible, ask your doctor to give you a smaller amount of a prescription or a sample of a drug that you are taking for the first time to see if it works for you. This may save you money and will also eliminate the need for throwing the drug away if it doesn’t work for you. Do the same for animal prescriptions.

Look at the expiration date on over-the-counter products. Will you be able to use all of it before the product expires? If not, maybe a smaller amount will do.

Look into mail-back programs for sharps. The Sustainable Hospitals website has a list of companies that provide sharps containers or check with your local hospital.

Note: The DEP does not endorse any products. Contact vendors directly to purchase a product or to obtain more information.

Download : Prescription Disposal Fact Sheet

What happens to my trash?

The containers and barrels of trash that you place at your curbside for collection may be transformed into electricity that will light the skyline or power the neighborhood. The process begins when the municipal solid waste arrives at our facility in Bristol.

After being weighed, it is moved to a storage pit that can hold up to 4,000 tons of unprocessed waste. One of two overhead cranes lifts the waste and places it into combustion unit charging hoppers. These containers prepare the waste for combustion, a rapid chemical process that takes place in two furnaces that can each burn up to 325 tons of waste every day. Each furnace has separate combustion controls and air pollution controls, leading to fewer emissions than conventional fuels burned in most American power plants.

The furnaces are used to produce steam, which generates electricity for sale to Connecticut Light & Power. Not only does the waste-to-energy process prevent your trash from piling up in landfills and releasing harmful methane gases commonly known as greenhouse gas, it helps Bristol Facility Policy Board/TROC reduce the tipping fees for our member communities.

What happens to my recycled products?

Materials from TROC's member communities are delivered to a state-of-the-art recycling processing center located on Christian Lane in Berlin, and operated by Murphy Road. This facility uses automated material handling equipment, such as conveyors, screens, magnets, eddy current separators, and optical sorting technology to separate combined recyclables into various grades of products, including sorted office paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel, and many different plastic resins.