June 30, 2020

Solid Waste Authority Reminds Residents How to Safely Dispose of Fireworks and Other Summertime Items

With the arrival of summer, many of us are heading outside to enjoy the warm weather, barbecue and celebrate Independence Day.

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 and 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:

  • 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. 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.)
  • Garden hoses:Reminder that garden hoses are not accepted for recycling and should be placed in your regular garbage for disposal.
  • Grill with the lid down; it is more energy efficient, helps distribute heat thoroughly and ensures even cooking.
  • Clean your grill while it is still hot using baking soda to avoid using cleaners with phosphates or harsh fumes.
  • Pack up leftovers: When the barbecue 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 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.

For more information on recycling and waste disposal, please visit or contact (315) 733-1224. 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.