Under a new town ordinance, Fairfield gas stations and car washes beginning today must provide recycling bins for glass, aluminum and plastic being discarded by their customers.

The ordinance -- the first of its kind in the state, town officials said -- was approved by the Representative Town Meeting May 23.

James Millington, the RTM majority leader, said in a news release that studies have shown that motorists discard the largest volumes of waste at car washes and gas stations, and that 40 to 50 percent of the discarded items can be recycled.

The ordinance requires car washes to place recycling receptacles at the point where customers leave their vehicles and/or the point where vacuums for use by customers are located. At least one receptacle is required for every two vacuums.

At gas stations, receptacles must be placed at the pumps, with at least one for every four pumps.

"This ... ordinance will have a major impact by redirecting tons of material from the incinerator to the recycling facilities," Millington said in the news release.