Earth Day 2021

On behalf of the Little Book of Green Nudges, which is an effort by the United Nations to get institutions around the world engaged in having young graduates make some changes to impact planetary health.
The University of Rochester is one of the 200 pilot universities around the world that is participating in this collective effort.
The Monroe County region is one of the best recyclers in the nation, both in quantity and quality of recyclables.However, up to 10% of what we receive at our recycling center doesn’t belong thereThat means 1 out of 10 items that are put in curbside recycling bins actually belong in the garbage or require special handling. We have updated our “Dirty Dozen” with the most problematic items that made their way into Monroe County recycling bins on a regular basis in the past year. Below, we explain why each of these items are a problem for recycling and what you can do to assure every item is properly disposed of. See our resources at more detailed recycling information.Residential Recycling Information 
#1 Lithium Batteries Rechargeable, button, and lithium batteries, though small in size, pose a BIG threat to collection workers and recycling center employees and are a frequent culprit of fires. These can be found in power tools, laptops, toys, watches and hearing aids.Keep these out of your curbside trash and recycle bins and bring them to select stores or the ecopark for free recycling. *Household single-use alkaline batteries are generally not accepted for recycling at these sites and can be safely disposed of in the trash.*
#2 Propane Tanks Propane tanks from your home grill or camp stove should never be disposed of curbside in trash or recycling bins. They endanger employees and facilities, due to their potential to cause explosions and fires.You can bring propane tanks to the ecopark to be safely recycled (no appointment necessary).
#3 Ropes, #4 Hoses & #6 Tarps Have you ever had a piece of string wrap around the brush bar in your vacuum? That’s exactly what happens at the recycling center when “tanglers” wrap around the rotating gears of the sorting equipment. The machinery’s job is to separate paper and boxes from other recyclable containers, but it cannot do a very good job at this when clogged.At least once every day, workers have to stop the equipment to cut out the bags, hoses, ropes, tarps, and anything else that has wound around the sorting gears. If you cannot find a reuse or donation option for rope, hoses, or tarps, they should be disposed of in the trash. 
#5 Foam Egg Carton Foam egg cartons are not recyclable curbside or at the ecopark. If you can’t find a reuse option (farm market, arts & crafts, etc.) then they must be disposed of in the trash.
#7 Plastic bags Plastic bags fall under the “tangler” category, causing the same types of problems at the recycling center as the materials above. However, there are plenty of other recycling programs for clean, dry, plastic bags and wrap. Retailers often have collection bins in the front of their stores and the ecopark accepts them in partnership with Wegmans. Bread bags, case wrap, bubble wrap mailers, and many other types of flexible plastic wrap are also acceptable in these programs. *Do not put curbside recyclables in a plastic bag – keep them loose in the bin.*
#8 Clothes Hangers The only types of metal that can be recycled curbside are cans and foil. However, the ecopark accepts all types of scrap metal like grills, microwaves, brake rotors, metal clothes hangers, even old lawnmowers (after all fluids have been properly disposed.) Neither metal or plastic clothes hangers are accepted for curbside recycling, but both can be donated or reused.
#9 Electronics Do not put old TVs or computer monitors at the curb! Heavy metals inside, like lead, need to be handled by professionals. Bring them to the ecopark or a local electronics recycler for a fee or look for occasional free collection events. Please don’t leave them at the curb where they will often become broken, posing litter and environmental issues. The ecopark accepts a number of electronics for free recycling in partnership with Sunnking Electronics Recycling.
#10 Cups The only types of plastic that are acceptable for curbside recycling are bottles, jugs, jars and tubs. These are the items that can be properly sorted at the recycling center and have a viable market for resale and remanufacturing. To reduce waste, avoid single-use disposable plasticware such as cups, utensils, straws, and coffee pods and utilize reusable alternatives.
#11 Food Food and liquids contaminate otherwise good recyclables. Paper, boxes, and recyclable containers need to be clean, dry and empty when they are put into your recycle bin. Food scraps can be composted in your backyard or through local drop off or collection programs for a fee. Both options are a great way to reduce food waste sent to landfills and produce a valuable end product.
#12 Clothes and Shoes There are a lot of misconceptions about the types of clothes that are accepted for donation. They don’t have to be in good shape; just clean, dry and odorless.  If a donation center can’t resell them, they send them for textile recycling. At the ecopark, we partner with Goodwill to accept clothes and shoes, but we encourage you to utilize any number of reuse methods that keep textiles out of landfills including: hand-me-downs, clothing swaps, consignment, garage sales, or any donation center.
  Take a quick quiz about recyclingin Monroe County by visiting this link:Recycling Quiz
Still Have Questions? Request a FREE Recycle Right! magnet and packet of recycling information by clicking on the link below:Magnet Request
Do you have a trash collector that provides exceptional customer service every week, regardless of the weather? Would you like to extend a public thank you and have them recognized for their efforts? For the second year, Monroe County – in cooperation with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Wegmans – will honor the unsung heroes of waste and recycling.  Click below, enter a few details, and YOUR hauler will be eligible for recognition and prizes! Hurry – deadline is June 1!
Waste and Recycling Workers Week Nomination

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