The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) would like to remind residents that the Authority’s EcoDrop facilities are available year-round, offering disposal opportunities for special waste that should not be placed in garbage or recycling bins.
Special waste includes items that are difficult to dispose of because they are bulky, potentially hazardous, or have a specific method of disposal. If these items go through the Recycling Center or the Authority’s Transfer Stations, they could injure employees or cause damage to these facilities and machinery. Below are some examples of special waste items and how they are properly disposed of.
Electronics: Electronics can contain dangerous chemicals, valuable metals and minerals. Electronics that are disposed of at the Authority’s EcoDrops are sent to a certified electronics dismantler that is trained on how to safely take apart electronics and separate out the materials in them that can be reused and recycled. Accepted electronics include: TVs, computer equipment, gaming systems, small kitchen appliances, printer cartridges and electric fans. Items with refrigerants (CFCs) are not accepted as electronics and require a fee for disposal.
Bulky Rigid Plastics: Bulky rigid plastics are plastic items that are too large to go through the equipment at the recycling center, so they must be collected and recycled separately. Bulky rigid plastics are baled, marketed and sent to recycling mills. They are then melted down and made into pellets that can be molded and made into new things such as toys, furniture and plastic totes. Accepted bulky rigid plastics include: clean plastic buckets, plastic water jugs, plastic laundry baskets, plastic bins, and plastic shelving. Items such as Styrofoam, water hoses, driveway sealant containers, and vinyl siding are not accepted as bulky rigid plastic and should be disposed of as garbage.
Rechargeable Batteries: Rechargeable batteries contain toxic metals and can explode under heat and pressure, therefore they require special disposal. Rechargeable batteries brought to retailers or the Authority’s EcoDrops to be recycled are sent to a recycler to be melted down so the materials in them can be recovered. Accepted rechargeable batteries include: laptop batteries, cell phone batteries, e-cigarette/vape batteries, and rechargeable alkaline batteries. Household alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, etc.) are not rechargeable, and should be placed in the garbage for disposal. These types of batteries no longer contain hazardous materials and are safe to dispose of in the garbage.
“It’s so easy to look at an item you no longer want and decide to toss it in the trash, but a lot of our ‘trash’ still has value,” says Authority Recycling Coordinator Eileen Brinck. “More items than you think can be made into new things, and the Authority has provided a great opportunity at the EcoDrop facilities to give your old and unwanted items a new life,” she continued.
Both the Utica and Rome EcoDrop facilities accept tires, electronics, scrap metal, appliances, used motor oil and antifreeze, cooking oil, bulky rigid plastics, green waste, bulk garbage items, propane tanks, and rechargeable batteries year-round. Both facilities also accept regular household garbage and single stream recyclables. Some items require a fee for disposal at these facilities. The locations and hours of these facilities are below:
Utica EcoDrop: 80 Leland Ave Extension, Utica, NY 13502; Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 7am-2pm
Rome EcoDrop: 575 Perimeter Road, Rome, NY 13440; Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 8am-12pm
For more information regarding the Authority’s EcoDrop facilities, please visit www.ohswa.org or call the Authority’s Office at (315) 733-1224. You can also visit the Authority’s Facebook page (Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority) to ask questions and find more information on the EcoDrop facilities and related topics.