Thanksgiving Recycling Reminders

Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans produce an extra 1 million tons of waste per week than any other time of the year!

November 23, 2022

Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans produce an extra 1 million tons of waste per week than any other time of the year! Help reduce this amount of additional waste with the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority’s (Authority) Thanksgiving recycling reminders!

Cartons: Cartons like those that contain broth, juice, milk or cream can be rinsed and placed in your curbside recycling bin. Sorters at the Recycling Center pull cartons off of the line to separate them from the rest of the recyclables. After this, cartons are baled and marketed to recycling mills. Once they reach the recycling mill, the cartons’ waxy outer coating is removed, and their paper fibers can then be recycled.

Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil sheets and trays can be recycled in your curbside bin as long as they are free of any food residue. Aluminum is separated out at the recycling center by an Eddy current, which is the opposite of how a magnet works. The Eddy current repulses aluminum foil off of the conveyor belt and into its own bin where it waits to be baled and marketed.

Cooking Oil: Cooking oil is recyclable even after it has been used. You can place your cooking oil in an unbreakable, leak-proof container no larger than five gallons and bring it to the Utica EcoDrop for recycling. This facility is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 7am-2pm. Please do not dispose of cooking oil down the drain or in your curbside recycling bin. The cooking oil that is brought to the Utica EcoDrop is picked up by a rendering company that processes it into animal feed.

Cardboard Boxes: Cardboard boxes that go in your refrigerator or freezer are not recyclable. This is because they have a chemical in them that keeps them from breaking down if they get wet. Recycling mills are not able to remove this chemical from the paper fibers that make up the cardboard, therefore they are a garbage item. Boxes that go in your pantry can be placed in your curbside recycling bin.

Leftovers/Food Waste: After the big feast, try to share, freeze or compost whatever food is leftover! Food waste is approximately 22% of the waste stream that ends up in the landfill. Instead of putting food waste in your garbage, you can bring it to the Utica EcoDrop so it can be disposed of at our Food2Energy Facility. Here, your food waste will be turned into electricity instead of going to the landfill!

Other Recyclables: Don't forget about all the other everyday recyclable items you may come across this Thanksgiving! This includes plastic cups, glass jars, paper bags, metal cans and plastic containers!

“There’s a lot to be thankful for this time of year,” says Authority Recycling Coordinator Eileen Brinck. “Let’s all try to make this time of year a little less wasteful and show some thankfulness towards the planet and everyone’s efforts to be a little more ‘green’,” she continued.

All Authority facilities will be closed on Thursday, November 24th, and will reopen for regular business hours on Friday, November 25th.

For more information on recycling and waste disposal, please contact Authority Recycling Coordinator Eileen Brinck at (315) 733-1224 ext. 1400 or visit www.ohswa.org. You may also ask questions and find more information on the Authority’s Facebook page (Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority).