As the spring cleanup and gardening seasons begin, you may begin to come across old garden supplies that you are unsure of how to properly dispose of. Here are some reminders and tips on how to dispose of these items!
Yard Tools: Yard tools like shovels and rakes cannot be placed at the curb for curbside recycling. Instead, they can be brought to either of the Authority’s EcoDrop facilities in Utica or Rome to be recycled as scrap metal. If they are still in good condition, reach out to a neighbor to see if they could use them, or donate them!
Electric and Gas Power Tools: Electric and gas power tools are not accepted for curbside recycling. Electric power tools along with power cords and rechargeable batteries can be recycled at the Authority’s EcoDrops. Gas power tools are also accepted at the Authority’s EcoDrops. Please be sure that these items are completely free of any gasoline or oil before they are brought for recycling. Power tools can also be given to a neighbor or be donated if they are in good condition.
Soil, Mulch and Compost Bags: Thick plastic bags holding soil, mulch or compost are not recyclable curbside or at retail stores. These kinds of bags are often too contaminated or wet to meet plastic film recycler requirements, so they should be placed in the garbage.
Flower Pots and Seedling Trays: Tough, rigid plastic flower planters are accepted for recycling at the Authority’s EcoDrops for recycling as bulky rigid plastic. Plastic flowerpots from garden centers and greenhouses are accepted for curbside recycling. Compostable pots are not recyclable or accepted for composting with green waste and should be placed in the garbage or be added to your compost bin. Seedling trays made of flimsy or crinkly plastic are not accepted for recycling and should be placed in the garbage. Some garden centers and greenhouses will, however, accept these items back for reuse. Ceramic flowerpots are not accepted for recycling.
Garden Hoses: Garden hoses are not recyclable and should NOT be recycled at the curb. Items like garden hoses often get stuck in the machinery at the recycling center, leading to shutdowns so they can be removed. When garden hoses spring a leak, try to repair them or find a creative way to reuse them. Otherwise, they should be placed in the garbage.
Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides: These items are considered hazardous and should never be placed in your garbage or recycling bin. Instead, they should be brought to the Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility at the Utica EcoDrop. HHW items are only accepted April 1st -September 30th. Also included with these hazardous items are old gasoline, pool chemicals, motor oil and more.
After you’ve cleaned up your yard for the spring and summer, consider bringing your green waste to one of the Authority’s EcoDrop facilities! Green waste is recycled onsite at the Authority’s Compost Site on Leland Ave in Utica. At this site, green waste is composted using a process called windrow composting. The windrows are monitored and turned to speed up the composting process. After 3-4 months, your yard waste will be turned into compost, which can then be used to amend soil and help plants grow bigger and stronger!
The Authority’s yard waste compost is certified by the U.S. Composting Council under its Seal of Testing Assurance Program as being consistent and high-quality compost. Under this certification and program, the Authority is required to take quarterly samples of the compost to ensure its consistency. The samples are tested for heavy metals, pathogens, fecal matter and any other potentially dangerous materials. Compost test results are available at www.ohswa.org.
Authority compost can be purchased from both the Utica and Rome EcoDrop facilities. Bags of compost are available for $2 per bag or $5 for 3 bags, and contain 1.2 cubic feet of compost. Pickup truck loads of compost are available for $15-$20 depending on the size of the truck. The Utica EcoDrop hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 7am-2pm, and the Rome EcoDrop hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 8am-12pm.
Larger bulk loads are available from the Compost Site only Monday-Friday 8am-3pm and are $15 per cubic yard.
For more information on the Authority’s compost, facility locations and hours of operation or the Authority’s programs, please call (315) 733-1224 or visit www.ohswa.org.