The Authority Offers Tips On Proper Disposal Of Common Gardening Supplies

Recycle Right While You Garden!

May 6, 2021

Recycle Right While You Garden!

As the weather warms up and we begin cleaning up our yards and planting gardens, you may come across some seasonal items that you are unsure how to properly recycle or dispose of. The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) would like to remind residents on how to best dispose of common gardening items.

  • Yard Tools: Yard tools like shovels and rakes cannot be placed at the curb for recycling. Metal hand tools may be recycled at no cost at Authority EcoDrops as scrap metal. If your tools are still usable and in good condition, consider donating your items to someone in need or to Second Chance Tools in Utica. For a list of what this organization accepts for donation, visit https://www.theparkwaycenter.org/new-2-u/tool-store/.
  • Power Tools: Power tools (electric & gas) such as hedge trimmers, electric saws and lawn mowers cannot be placed at the curb for recycling, but are accepted for recycling at no cost at both of the Authority EcoDrop locations. Consider donating unwanted power tools that are in good condition.
  • Mulch/Compost Bags: Thick plastic bags holding mulch or compost can NOT be placed in your curbside recycling bin (the Authority does not accept ANY type of plastic bag for recycling) and are NOT accepted as part of plastic film recycling drop off programs. These bags are often too contaminated or wet to meet plastic film recycler’s stringent quality standards. Please place empty mulch or compost bags in your garbage for proper disposal.
  • Flower Pots: Bulky plastic flower pots can NOT be placed in your curbside recycling bin. However, bulky rigid plastics like large plastic flower pots are accepted at the Authority EcoDrops for recycling at no cost. Please note that ceramic flower pots are not accepted for recycling.
  • Seedling/Propagation Trays: Trays with small compartments for seedlings or vegetable propagation are made of a thin plastic material that is NOT accepted for recycling, however some local greenhouses and nurseries will accept these items back for reuse. Visit our website at ohswa.org for more information. If you cannot donate seedling/propagation trays for reuse, please place these trays in the garbage for proper disposal.
  • Garden Hoses: Garden hoses are not accepted for recycling. Do NOT place hoses in your recycling container. Hoses and other items such as ribbons, string, rope and twine get caught in sorting equipment at Recycling Centers and cause equipment malfunctions. Please place garden hoses in your regular garbage.

“During the Spring, we are pulling items out of our sheds and garages that we have not used in several months. When it comes to disposal of these items, there may be some materials you are unsure of,” says Samantha Brown, Authority Recycling Coordinator. “Checking with your local recycling center before you toss your items can help reduce contamination in the recycling stream, prevent equipment malfunctions at recycling centers, and save landfill space - helping to conserve natural resources and energy right here in Oneida and Herkimer Counties,” she continues.

The Authority would also like to remind residents that yard/green waste compost is now available in both bulk and bags at our two EcoDrop locations. Composting is nature’s way of recycling and the Authority’s compost is made from green waste (brush, leaves and grass clippings) from Oneida and Herkimer Counties and turned into a useful soil amendment for gardens, lawns and landscaping. The high-quality, finished compost is screened and available for purchase by residents and businesses in the region. 

The Authority began operating its 13 acre Green Waste Composting Facility in 1994. This regional facility serves a number of municipalities, private haulers, businesses, institutions and landscapers. About 2/3 of the population of Oneida & Herkimer Counties utilize the site.

The Authority's yard waste compost has been certified by the US Composting Council under its Seal of Testing Assurance Program as consistent, high-quality compost. This means the Authority's compost has been tested by third party laboratories to ensure that it meets all state and federal environmental requirements. Compost test results are available on our website at www.ohswa.org.

The Authority’s finished compost is made entirely from processed brush, leaves and grass clippings, fully cured and screened to 1/2”. Compost should be used as a soil additive to develop or improve moisture retention and add important organic matter. Compost worked into clay or sandy soils improves texture, helps with compaction and aerates the soil, thereby facilitating grass and turf root development. It can also be used as a substitute for landscaping mulch or peat moss. Visit our website at www.ohswa.org for compost application instructions.

Bulk Price:
$15.00 per cubic yard loaded in your dump truck (Monday – Friday 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM) at the Utica facility only.

Pick-up Truck Price:
$15.00 per pick-up truck, $20.00 per large pick-up truck loaded at the Utica facility and Rome facility.

Bagged Price:

$2 each, or 3 for $5, available at the EcoDrop Rome (Perimeter Road, Rte. 365, Rome) and EcoDrop Utica (Leland Ave. Extension, Utica). Please call (315) 733-1224 to ensure availability of bagged compost. Each bag weighs about 45 pounds and contains 1.2 cubic feet of compost.

For more information on Authority compost, facility locations and hours of operation or other programs, please visit www.ohswa.org or call (315) 733-1224.