Solid Waste Authority Offers Tips to “Green” Your Summer

June 28 2017

With the arrival of summer, many of us are heading outside to barbecue and spend time with family and friends.

The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority offers the following tips to minimize waste, increase recycling and save money on your summer parties.

  • Fill up pitchers of water, lemonade and iced tea instead of buying large quantities of personal-sized beverage containers. This not only reduces waste, but saves money, too!
  • Buy in Bulk: Purchase large bags of chips and large bottles of ketchup and other condiments rather than individually packaged items. This will cost less money and will result in a lot packaging waste.
  • Encourage recycling by placing clearly labeled recycling bins next to garbage cans. Keep the bins next to each other to increase recycling.
  • Solo Cups: Make sure party guests are aware that plastic cups can be recycled. ALL plastic bottles, cups and containers (excluding Styrofoam, prescription medicine bottles and motor oil bottles) can be placed in your recycling bin.
  • Avoid Styrofoam: Reusable plates and bowls are always the best choice, but if you are choosing disposable plates and bowls, avoid Styrofoam. Styrofoam cannot be placed in the recycling bin. Paper plates are a better alternative to Styrofoam; although they are not recyclable, they will take much less time to breakdown. Look for biodegradable and recycled-content paper goods.
  • Propane tanks: Whether you’re using a 1-pound or 100-pound propane tank, never place the tank in your recycling container or garbage can. Propane tanks can be delivered to the Authority’s Utica & Rome EcoDrops for proper recycling/disposal at NO CHARGE. (Visit ohswa.org for hours and locations.)
  • Grill with the lid down; it is more energy efficient, helps distribute heat thoroughly and ensures even cooking.
  • Clean your grill while it’s still hot using baking soda and a wire brush to avoid using cleaners with phosphates or harsh fumes.
  • Pack up leftovers: When the party comes to an end, pack leftovers in reusable containers or use aluminum foil as an alternative to plastic wrap and baggies. Clean aluminum foil can be placed in your recycling bin, unlike plastic wrap.
  • Use rechargeable Batteries for your radios, flashlights and other outdoor devices. Under the NYS Rechargeable Battery Law, rechargeable batteries such as car batteries, cordless drill batteries and rechargeable alkaline batteries cannot be disposed of as garbage nor placed in your recycling bin. Visit ohswa.org for a list of locations in which you can drop-off your rechargeable batteries at no cost. Regular household alkaline batteries can be placed in your regular trash for disposal.
  • Extras: Choosing organic foods, e-vites versus snail mail and use homemade decorations over store-bought decorations to round off the finishing touches of your “green” barbecue.

“If each family in Oneida and Herkimer Counties made a couple of small changes at their summer gatherings, the total impact on waste reduction and recycling would be tremendous. By reducing our region’s waste and increasing recycling, we not only preserve landfill space, but conserve valuable natural resources and energy,” stated Jamie Tuttle, Authority Recycling Educator.

For more information on recycling and waste disposal, please contact Authority Recycling Educator Jamie Tuttle at 733-1224 ext. 2300 or visit www.ohswa.org. The Authority also encourages residents and businesses to visit www.AmIRecyclable.com, which provides users with a tool to quickly search thousands of items for proper recycling and disposal methods.