FAQs & Resources

We’ve compiled a list of questions most commonly asked by our customers. If you can’t find an answer to your question here – feel free to Contact Us.

Download our “What can I recycle?”Recycling Guide Thumbnail guide for more information.

Questions about the Environmental Regulatory Fee?

Please visit our dedicated ERF page: http://www.moderncorporation.com/erf

How clean do my recyclables need to be?

We encourage everyone to empty and rinse all containers; however, material will not be rejected if it has not been rinsed. Containers do NOT have to be cleaned with soap – they will be sanitized as part of the recycling process.

What size dumpster is best for me?

Please refer to our Container Dimensions page to find the appropriate container for your needs.

What is considered a “Large Bulky” item?

Anything too large to fit in a garbage can.
Maximum weight 65 lbs

How do I dispose of: Tires?

Many municipalities include tires in their drop-off collection programs for their residents and auto service shops accept them for a small fee. Modern no longer offers bulk tire collection and recycling.

How do I dispose of: Paint?

Latex – Remove the lid and air dry the paint in the can. To speed up the process, stir in an absorbent material such as kitty litter or sawdust. For large amounts, line a sturdy box with a plastic bag. Fill with kitty litter or sawdust and pour in the leftover paint. Put in the trash once dry. Wet paint put in the trash can make a terrible mess when the garbage truck compacts the cans and the paint is released. This is the main reason municipalities require paints to be dry or solidified before disposal.

 

Oil-based– take to Household Hazardous Waste collection.

How do I dispose of: Mattresses?

Residents may place mattresses at the curb for collection. Follow your municipal “large bulk item” rules. Additional fee may apply for commercial customers. Contact Modern’s Customer Service or your Sales Representative for more information.

How do I dispose of: Hazardous Waste?

Contact your county office for dates of household hazardous waste collection events. There are also private companies that accept and process household hazardous waste. See the Resources section for a list of these vendors. [Link to resources section.] Household hazardous waste includes, but is not limited to: herbicides/pesticides, gasoline, flammable liquids, mercury/thermostats, anti-freeze, oil-based paint, aerosols, fluorescent bulbs, and other items dangerous to public and environmental health.

How do I dispose of: Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s)?

Many larger stores that sell these bulbs will accept them back for recycling. Contact your county environmental office for locations or visit NYSERDA’s CFL Recycling Center website.

How do I dispose of: Carpet?

Put carpet at the curb near your trash container on your scheduled service day in rolls no longer than 4 feet or wider than 18 inches.

How do I dispose of: Branches, leaves, grass?

Follow your municipal regulations for yard waste. Please do not place branches, leaves, or grass in your curbside recycling container. Some communities collect yard waste separately to make compost. Other municipalities direct yard waste into the trash.

You can always compost at home. Information is available at your local office of the Cornell Cooperative Extension and on these websites:
Cornell Waste Management Institute www.cwmi.css.cornell.edu
Compostory.org www.compostory.org
U.S. Composting Council www.compostingcouncil.org/home-composters

Can I Recycle….? Click on the item for more information and proper handling.

Aluminum foilYes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
BicyclesNot in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
Branches, leaves, grassNot in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
Chip bags and Candy WrappersNot in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
ClothesNot in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s)Not in your curbside cart or bin.
ElectronicsNot in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Food ScrapsNot in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Keurig® and K-Cup® type coffee packagesNot at this time.
Metal hangersNot in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Paper towelsNot in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Pizza boxesYes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Plastic bags and film wrap?  Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Plastic foamNot at this time.
Plastic packagingYes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Plastic silverware? Not at this time.
Plastic tubsYes. Recycle them in your cart or bin.
Shredded paperYes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
VCR/Cassette TapesNot at this time.

Aluminum foil? Yes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Aluminum foil is recyclable in your curbside container. Please rinse first.

Bicycles? Not in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
Sell usable bikes via reuse outlets like Craig’s list or donate them to a charitable organization. GoBike Buffalo (www.GObikebuffalo.org) accepts working and broken bicycles. Broken bicycles may also be taken to a scrap metal dealer.

Branches, leaves, grass? Not in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
Follow your municipal regulations for yard waste. Please do not place branches, leaves, or grass in your curbside recycling container. Some communities collect yard waste separately to make compost. Other municipalities direct yard waste into the trash.

Chip bags and Candy Wrappers? Not in your curbside cart or bin…but maybe somewhere else.
This packaging is made of Mylar or Mylar-like film that Modern does not currently process for recycling. Terracycle (www.terracycle.com) may be an option for recycling these materials.

Clothes? Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Clothes, shoes and other textiles like sheets and blankets are readily accepted at drop-off locations throughout WNY, but NOT in your curbside container. Please take these items to a thrift store, church, or clothing drop-off box for re-use or recycling. Items do not have to be in wearable or usable condition but should be clean and DRY. NYTextiles.org provides more information

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s)? Not in your curbside cart or bin.
Many larger stores that sell these bulbs will accept them back for recycling. Contact your county environmental office for locations or check here. Add link to www.nyserda.ny.gov/Contractors/Find-a-Contractor/CFL-Recycling-Center.aspx

Electronics? Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.

Beginning January 1, 2015, covered electronic equipment may no longer be accepted for disposal at a solid or hazardous waste management facility from any organization, business or person. Items such as TV’s, computers, monitors, video games, etc. must be recycled because they contain small amounts of metals that are toxic if leaked into the environment but valuable when recovered.

 

  • DO NOT place covered electronic items in containers along with other solid waste or recycling.
  • DO NOT leave covered electronic items at your curb.
  • DO recycle covered electronic items properly by taking them to a registered collection site or by working with a registered electronic waste recycler for collection and processing.
  • FIND INFORMATION about collection programs and registered collection sites via the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or check with your local municipality.

Food Scraps? Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Modern currently offers organics recycling to commercial and institutional customers to recycle their food scraps into compost. Contact customer service at 888-648-0928 who will put you in touch with a sales representative to provide you with more information.

Keurig® and K-Cup® type coffee packages? Not at this time.
Keurig® and K-Cup® type coffee packages are not recyclable in your curbside recycling container. Current technology and systems for sorting recyclable materials are not designed for items that small. The foil and grounds left inside are also contaminants. Keurig reports on its website that it is working on the issue and there are reusable options designed for these types of machines.

Metal hangers? Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Unfortunately metal hangers catch on the sorting equipment causing jams and damage, but many dry cleaners accept them for reuse. Please do not put them in your recycle cart or bin.

Paper towels? Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Paper towels are not accepted in curbside collection program. Put them in your trash or use them as bulking agent for worm composting.

Pizza boxes? Yes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Yes you can recycle pizza boxes! Remove the paper liner and fold in half so it does not get stuck in your recycling cart or bin when the collection crew empties it.

Plastic bags and film wrap?  Not in your curbside cart or bin, but somewhere else.
Plastic carryout bags are accepted for recycling at retail stores, but NOT in curbside recycling programs. Plastic bags wrap around the moving parts of sorting machines at recycling centers causing equipment damages and jams. Most curbside recycling programs across the country do not accept plastic bags for recycling.

      • Retail stores in New York State are required to offer collection of plastic carryout bags for recycling so you may conveniently return them when you shop. Learn more here.
      • Most grocery stores accept more than just carryout bags in their collection containers. Return these additional items to the bag recycling receptacle at your grocery store: carryout bags, bread bags, cereal and cracker type liner bags, product wrap, case overwrap, pellet & salt bags, dry cleaning bags.
      • Note: Capri sun pouches and many chip bags are made of a Mylar®-like, shiny plastic film material that is NOT accepted for recycling in your curbside program. Terracycle (www.terracycle.com) is an option for recycling.

Plastic foam? Not at this time.
Plastic foam, such as Styrofoam™ brand plastic foam, is NOT accepted in your curbside recycling program because it is so lightweight (it is plastic expanded with air) that it uses more energy and expense to ship it than would be saved compared to using new plastic. Most curbside recycling programs across the country do not accept plastic foam for recycling, but many shipping outlets accept clean plastic foam packaging for reuse. See the Resources section below for a list of places in WNY that accept clean foam for recycling.

Plastic packaging? Yes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Plastic packaging with a number inside a recycling symbol is accepted in your curbside recycling container with two exceptions: film and foam, such as Styrofoam™ brand plastic foam.

Plastic tubs? Yes. Recycle them in your cart or bin.
Plastic tubs from margarine, yogurt, cream cheese, and similar packaging are accepted in your curbside cart or bin.

Shredded paper? Yes. Recycle it in your cart or bin.
Shredded paper is too small for the sorting process to capture when it is loose in the cart as shreds. You may put shredded paper in CLEAR plastic bags, such as a grocery bag, and then place it in your recycling cart. This is the only item accepted inside a bag.

How do I dispose of: Electronic Waste

Beginning January 1, 2015, covered electronic equipment may no longer be accepted for disposal at a solid or hazardous waste management facility from any organization, business or person. Items such as TV’s, computers, monitors, video games, etc. must be recycled because they contain small amounts of metals that are toxic if leaked into the environment but valuable when recovered.

 

  • DO NOT place covered electronic items in containers along with other solid waste or recycling.
  • DO NOT leave covered electronic items at your curb.
  • DO recycle covered electronic items properly by taking them to a registered collection site or by working with a registered electronic waste recycler for collection and processing.
  • FIND INFORMATION about collection programs and registered collection sites via the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or check with your local municipality.

What time does trash need to be out at the curb?

By 6 a.m.

What do I do with expired drugs or used medical needles/sharps?

Do NOT put needles/sharps in your curbside recycling, even when in a sealed bottle. Many hospitals, some pharmacies, town halls and libraries now serve as drop-off collection sites for expired drugs and/or used needles/sharps from individuals.
• For Erie county locations, click here.
• For Niagara or Orleans County locations, click here and here

How do I properly place my trash and/or recycling cart at the curb?

CART_Spacing

What if my recycling cart is not full on the day of my scheduled service?

You do not need to put your cart out for service until it is full or full enough that you could not make it until the next scheduled service.

How can I get a recycling or trash cart?

Contact customer service for assistance via the contact form or call 800-330-7107. If your community does not currently provide residents with a recycling or trash cart, you may purchase one from Modern. We recommend purchasing carts through Modern because the carts are specifically designed for our equipment and typically more durable than carts purchased at retail outlets.

Before you order carts, first check with your municipal office to ensure the municipal leaders are not already planning to purchase carts for residents.

Can I get a bigger or smaller trash or recycling cart?

This change is a decision of your municipality unless you are a direct Modern customer. Contact your municipal office.

If you are a direct Modern customer and would like a different size trash or recycling cart please contact Customer Service at 800-330-7107.

What are “rigid plastics”?

Rigid plastics are plastic products that do not give easily when squeezed. Many are large, bulky items like lawn chairs, buckets, toddler toys, broken plastic shovels and sleds, etc. You may recycle these by placing them next to your recycling cart on your recycling service day.

Holiday pick-up schedule

Residential collection service will not be performed on these holidays:
US
• New Years Day
• Memorial Day
• Labor Day
• Thanksgiving
• Christmas

Canada
• New Years Day
• Good Friday
• Victoria Day
• Canada Day – July 1
• Civic Holiday
• Labour Day
• Thanksgiving
• Christmas – December 25
• Boxing Day – December 26

 

Your pick-up will be delayed 1 day if your scheduled service day is on or after the weekday the holiday falls on.

Resources

Note: We do our best to keep these resources up-to-date, but recommend you call to verify the information for drop-off locations before you drive to them. More resources coming soon!

What Can I Recycle? downloadable pdf

Seasonal Recycling Reminders: SpringSummerFallWinter