Recycling Guide

Please recycle household electronics, rechargeable batteries, fluorescent bulbs, TV’s, and computers.  When these items are put out for disposal as household trash they go to a landfill in northern Maine where they simply sit forever.  When recycled, these items are broken down into different components and returned to a variety of manufacturing processes as ingredients for new products.

Because of our rural location, it can be tricky to recycle BUT many of the stores and businesses we visit offer simple, no cost, recycling solutions YOU can take advantage of!

Scrap tires, TV’s and waste paint/solvents may be more difficult to recycle, but it is worth going the extra mile (literally) to do so. When these items end up down the drain, in the woods or a ditch they pollute the streams and rivers we all enjoy.

The Cornish Recycling Committee has compiled the list below to increase your recycling efforts.

Thank you for making a difference!

General Recycling Guidance

The Cornish Recycling Center is located on School Street and accepts a variety of paper, plastic and metal items in commingled bins (no need to sort). Check out our flier to see what we CAN accept. If it is not on the list, please do not put it in the bin.

The Cornish Recycling Center DOES NOT accept the items discussed below.

If you have PO Box at the Cornish Post Office recycle your unwanted mail even before leaving the building. Locate the recycle bin and drop everything in! Why bring clutter home?

Earth 9-1-1 offers a zip code based guide on how to recycle a large variety of household and obscure items (think packing peanuts or Styrofoam trays)

Plastic Bags

When placed into the collection bins at the Cornish Recycling Center, plastic grocery bags create a nuisance for our recycler Ecomaine.  Call’s Shop n’Save, Hannaford’sTarget and Wal-Mart have dedicated plastic bag collection programs. Please deposit your collection at one of these locations.

Batteries and Fluorescent Lights

Rechargeable Batteries recycled at no cost. Search by zip code for participating locations:

Lead acid automotive batteries are best recycled at the time of purchasing a new one. Don’t hoard the old one – you know it doesn’t have much life and honestly it is harder to properly dispose later on.  Check in with Sanel Auto Parts or NAPA.

Non-Rechargeable Alkaline batteries (AA, C, D etc.,) are not easily recycled. You may place a few batteries at a time in your household trash. Never throw them into a fire.

Button style batteries from watches, hearing aids, garage door opener remotes and other devices contain Mercury and should be recycled.  Locate a facility in the “Special Wastes” section below.

All Home Depot stores and the Windham Lowe’s will accept and recycle compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) at no cost.

Recycling fluorescent light tubes? There are several local stores which will accept fluorescent light tubes. The most current list can always be found on the Maine DEP website at:

Electronic Items

Staples accepts a long list of electronic items for recycling at no cost including computers, DVD players and printers. There is a rebate on each empty ink and toner cartridge.  For a full details visit:

All Best Buy stores have an extensive recycling program that includes computers, stereo equipment, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, video game consoles, pesky plastic CD cases, cables and wires, rechargeable batteries, hair dryers, curing irons, and some other small appliances. There is a $25.00 charge for CRT TV’s. Before heading to the Maine Mall, check their website, grab your recyclable and go! Best Buy Recycling Program HERE

Goodwill accepts most electronics and computers. NO CRT TV’s or Computer Monitors.

Apple offers a trade in and/or free recycling for items such as iPhones, smartphones, iPad, and Mac or PC desktop and notebook computers. To learn more visite the Apple website at:

Random This & That

Terracycle is a recycling company specializing in hard-to-recycle articles such as Brita water filters, toothbrushes, backpacks and 3 ring binders. Geared toward school and community groups interested in a new project! Depending on the collection effort, there may be opportunity to earn $$ for efforts.  Visit to learn more.


Thru a program called Paintcare, many local Maine hardware stores will accept and recycle small volumes of latex or oil based paints and wood stains at no cost. This includes our very own Cornish Hardware. Please review the Paintcare website or call the hardware store to confirm before loading up your car. Sorry no pesticides or aerosols.

Special Wastes

Scrap tires, solvents, pesticides, CRT TV’s and monitors, lead acid and button cell batteries and household hazardous waste must be recycled with extra care to protect our environment. The sites below will accept household and small business items.  Fees and rates vary, call for confirmation and choose best location for you.

Ø  Riverside Recycling in Portland, ME:


Traditional style thermostats contain Mercury which, when spilled, is an environmental and household bad guy. Standish Hardware and several Aubuchon Hardware stores in the area collect and properly recycle thermostats at no cost. You may be eligible for a $5.00 rebate for each thermostat recycled.

Unused Prescription Medications

Dr. change your medication?  Successfully lower your cholesterol?  If you have unused, unneeded or expired prescription medication the worst thing you can do is dump it down the drain. Wastewater treatment and septic systems are not designed to remove dissolved medications from water. So wherever the water flows after treatment, so do your old pills. The County Sheriff’s Office holds an annual “Take Back” Day, but if you miss it, check out the confidential, secure takeback locations found on  There are kiosks at the Buxton Police Station, York County Sheriff’s Department and  Biddeford Police Dept. to name a few collection points.