Sunday, July 12, 2020

Reducing Your Waste this Summer: Tips from the DEC

Summer is the time for outdoor barbeques, picnics and parties, and while you are having fun the DEC wants to remind us to reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste correctly this summer.

They’ve released a variety of tips and suggestions in their weekly newsletter to this end. To reduce waste, opt for reusable plates, cups, cutlery and napkins as opposed to the typical solo cups and paper pates for your next outdoor feast. You can learn to make your own drinks as well as opposed to using pre-mixed beverages that come in bulky plastic containers.

When spring cleaning and making the transition to your summer gear, be sure to donate items that you don’t need, repair what is broken, and compost your food scraps. You can also reduce your wasted food by doing a little meal planning. Check out this link for some meal planning tips.

Be sure to recycle correctly as well this summer as most recycling programs can not accept single-use paper or plastic plates, cups, straws, and cutlery. Visit this site to view your local recycling programs rules. You may only recycle tin foil that is free of food residue as well, and plastic bottles such as ketchup and mustard bottles must be completely cleaned out. Paper napkins, tissues, and paper towel and wipes are not recyclable, nor are gas tanks and canisters from grills. Contact your local recycling coordinator, transfer station, or scrap metal yard to learn how to dispose of metal, such as a dysfunctional grill. Dispose of trash responsibly by avoiding overflowing bins, and keeping a lid on curbside bins and totes, and do not litter disposable masks and gloves. Keep a small baggie with you for disposing of them on the go.

If you follow the DEC’s tips then you can enjoy your summer while ensuring your activities contribute to an economically friendly summer! Check out the following conferences, workshops, and seminars on composting and recycling as well. Dates are as follows:

September 14 – 18, 2020: Compost Operations Training Course – Hillsborough, New Jersey

October 4 – 7, 2020: Federation Conference – Bolton Landing

October 20 -21, 2020: Northeast Recycling Council Fall Conference – Rocky Hill, Connecticut

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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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