Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

Fall Into Good Recycling Habits This Year

Fall into the Right Recycling Habits

Whether you’re sipping warm apple cider, raking leaves, or having some Halloween fun, you can do it all with the environment in mind by following these easy tips.

While many coffee shops are not accepting reusable mugs at this time due to COVID-19 despite health experts around the globe verifying the safety of reusables, you can still do your part to reduce waste and prevent recycling contamination by taking these steps:

  • Keep single-use cups, lids, and straws out of recycling bins unless they are listed as accepted in your recycling program - many recyclers do not accept these items.
  • Skip a lid, straw or stirrer by letting your server know if you don’t need these items.
  • Brew your own coffee or tea at home and avoid take-out waste altogether.

Once the leaves have fallen, property owners can sustainably use them a number of ways:

  • At home - add nutrients to your lawn by mulching leaves into the grass with a lawn mower, or you can collect them for you home compost pile.
  • If at-home use isn’t an option, check with your municipality about pickup and collection of leaves.
  • If possible, use reusable bins or barrels for your yard debris where applicable.

As Halloween approaches, get crafty and creative with your costume and decorations:

  • Reuse and repurpose items from around the house or outside, such as using leaves in craft projects.
  • Reuse clothing, other accessories or give a past costume a new twist.
  • When carving jack-o’-lanterns, roast those tasty seeds and compost pumpkins after the celebration concludes!

While enjoying treats this Halloween, it’s important to not trick ourselves into “wishcycling” items like candy wrappers that don’t belong in the recycling stream. Contamination is scary for any recycling program. You can make sure your recycling bin isn’t full of scary tricks by:

  • Knowing your recycling program and only recycling items that are accepted
  • Making sure containers are empty and paper and cardboard are dry

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