Authority Offers Tips on How To Recycle Right This Fourth of July

With the arrival of summer, many of us are heading outside to enjoy the warm weather, barbecue and celebrate the 4th of July.

June 30, 2021

With the arrival of summer, many of us are heading outside to enjoy the warm weather, barbecue and celebrate the 4th of July. The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) wants to remind residents that while fireworks make for festive celebrations, they can be dangerous to sanitation workers, trucks and solid waste facilities when improperly disposed of. Additionally, improper recycling or disposal of other commonly used summertime items can be detrimental to solid waste facility operations.

If you have unused, misfired or “dud” fireworks, following these safe disposal steps will help ensure the protection of you, your family, waste haulers and facilities.

  1. Completely submerge fireworks in a large bucket of water and soak until thoroughly saturated. This may take 15 minutes for small fireworks or as long as overnight for larger ones.
  2. Wrap the completely soaked fireworks in plastic wrap or two plastic bags so they do not dry out.
  3. Place the double-bagged fireworks in the household garbage. Fireworks are not recyclable and should never be placed in your recycling container.

Additional Tips for Summertime Recycling, Disposal & Waste Reduction:

  • 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 less packaging waste.
  • Encourage recycling by placing clearly labeled recycling bins next to garbage cans.
  • Solo Cups: Are you 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 break down in the Regional Landfill. 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 for hours and locations.)
  • Grill with the lid down; it is more energy efficient, helps distribute heat thoroughly and ensures even cooking.
  • 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 for a list of locations where you can drop-off your rechargeable batteries at no cost. Regular household alkaline batteries can be placed in your regular trash for disposal.

“Any action we take to reduce waste and recycle properly directly impacts our local economy and environment; conserving landfill space, natural resources and energy,” stated Samantha Brown, Authority Recycling Coordinator. “Making even a few small changes at summer gatherings - like buying in bulk or setting out reusable items for party guests - add up to make a big difference,” she continued.

Are you hosting a community event? The Authority appreciates recycling efforts in our region and is pleased to provide assistance by offering recycling containers for use at special community events. If you are interested in obtaining recycling containers for your event, please visit to complete the request form.

For more information on recycling and waste disposal, please contact Authority Recycling Coordinator Samantha Brown at (315) 733-1224 ext. 2800 or visit The Authority also encourages residents and businesses to visit, which provides users with a tool to quickly search thousands of items for proper recycling and disposal methods.