Monday, May 25, 2020

Spring Cleaning: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It is that time of year again where spring cleaning is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. But before you begin, the DEC wants to remind us how important it is that you properly recycle everything instead of just throwing it away.

It is certainly easier to just toss everything, but don’t forget that most everything requires limited natural resources to produce, and in the efforts of conservation, the DEC wants to share some tips to reduce the amount of waste generated this spring-cleaning season.

Use the recycling resources available to you: Recycling can be complicated sometimes, but before you begin, you can contact your hauler, a transfer station, or a recycling coordinator in your area with questions you have about items. Those resources can also provide you with a list of what is and is recyclable at home, and where to bring other objects in question.

Some items require special drop-offs: Items like electronics, rechargeable batteries, textiles, film plastics, plastic bags, all will not be recycled if placed in a home recycling bin. Contact a recycling coordinator with questions about how to handle these items, especially during the pandemic.

Don’t bag recyclables: Unless your instructions tell you to do it. Otherwise, place recyclables into a container. Bagged recyclables often end up in a landfill as it is considered a hazard, since workers can’t see what is in the bag.

Cardboard paper towel tubes are recyclable: soiled paper towels, wipes, and napkins are trash.

Bulky household items should not be left at curb or dumped: A hauler, recycling coordinator, or municipality can help you dispose of these items properly.

No cords, wires, lights, strands, rope, or other tanglers: As they jam recycling equipment.

Visit the Recycle Right NY Campaign webpage for tips and info: Learn to recycle right in your community!

Along with managing recycling this spring, managing wasting food is another important topic that should not be ignored either. The DEC has an upcoming free webinar on Tuesday, May 19 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. titled Managing Wasted Food: Lessons Learned Nationally and New York State’s Plan of Action. The webinar features Nora Goldstein of BioCycle, who will be discussing national trends in organics recycling, how NYS fits into that picture, and her insight into the future of the organics recycling industry.

Sally Rowland of the DEC will follow up with an update on the NYS Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law, going into effect January 2022. The webinar is part of a 3-part series from the NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling in place of the 2020 NYS Organics Summit.

To register for the webinar, click here.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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