'Tis the season to Recycle! According to the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste
Authority, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, the nation's trash increases
by an extra one million tons per week.
"Solid Waste reduction and recycling is an important issue that we need to address not only during the holidays, but every day. Because of the increased trash rate during this holiday season, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority wants to make reducing and recycling as much of this waste as possible, a reality," says Jamie Tuttle, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority School Recycling Coordinator.
Here are some tips on how to make your holiday season greener.
Holiday gift wrap will be accepted for recycling in Oneida and Herkimer counties. To recycle the holiday gift wrap, fold or flatten the gift wrap and place it loosely in your recycling container. DO NOT put recyclable material in plastic bags.
-Do NOT recycle foil or metallic wrapping paper or metallic ribbon or
-Wrapping paper will only be accepted during the two weeks after Christmas.
-Holiday cards may be recycled. Each year 2.65 billion holiday cards are sold in the U.S. Place your holiday cards, catalogs, gift boxes and other recyclable paper in with your regular recyclables.
- Contact your local municipality to see what the collection schedule is for Christmas trees. If your municipality does not have a collection schedule, residents can deliver trees for composting to the Authority's Utica Convenience Station on Leland Ave during business hours, Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-Make sure your decorations and tinsels are removed
-All wreaths should be disposed of with your regular garbage
-Real and artificial wreaths are held together with wire and plastic, so they cannot be recycled.
-Holiday lights should be stored for use again next year. If they are broken or unwanted, they can be recycled with old or unwanted electronics at no charge. You can deliver these items to Utica Residential Convenience Station on Leland Ave
-Holiday lights and/or electronics CANNOT be placed in your recycling containers.
-Can drop off cooking oil and kitchen grease to Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Leland Ave in Utica.
More Holiday Recycling Tips:
o Save your holiday decorations for reuse next year. Donate decorations to local schools, churches, town offices or non-profit organizations. Use natural ornaments such as pine cones, shells, dried flowers or berries to decorate with.
o The average American home receives more than 200
mail order catalogs each year - mostly at holiday time. Call the company's toll
free number and ask that you be removed from their mailing list. Remove your
name from unwanted catalogue and junk mail lists by writing to:
DMA Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 15012-0643
Give your address and every variation of your name under which you receive mail. If you do receive magazines and catalogs, please recycle them.
o If you send holiday cards, look for ones made of recycled paper. Save the cards that you get in the mail, cut off the front pictures, and reuse as "postcards" next year. Or, send ''electronic cards'' or make a phone call instead!
o Use last year's holiday cards as gift tags.
o If you buy gifts, look for durable and re-usable items and resist the latest "fad" at the mall. Think of how many pet rocks, mood rings, and cabbage patch dolls ended up in the landfill!
o Look for gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery re-charger or items made from recycled materials. Choose solar powered instead of battery powered products. Or better yet, ones that require no power at all.
o If you go out shopping, bring your own tote bags and avoid coming home with an armload of plastic bags holding just one item.
o Use a digital camera instead of those that require film. That way you can delete the picture you don't want and print only those you like.
o Avoid leaving Christmas lights on all night. Place them on an electric timer to switch off while you are sleeping.
o Recycle your poinsettia plant for next year by pruning it back severely and placing it in a shady place. Allow it to dry out and start watering it again in May. The poinsettia will be in full blossom for the next holiday season.
o Other environmentally-smart gifts include homemade ones: home baked cookies, bread or jams, a plant or tree. Purchase gifts that don't create any waste at all: concert or movie tickets, dinner at a restaurant, or an IOU to help rake leaves or repair a leaky faucet, or ones that get "used up": candles, soap, or seeds for next year's garden.
o Wrapping paper is often used once and thrown away. Try using colorful pages torn from magazines to wrap small gifts, and old maps or the Sunday comics for larger boxes. Avoid using paper entirely by using reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes. If you do buy wrapping paper, look for recycled paper. Reusable cloth ribbons can be used in place of plastic bows. Finally, unwrap gifts carefully and save wrappings for reuse next year.
For more information regarding recycling and waste disposal, please visit www.ohswa.org or call the Authority's Main Office at 733-1224. You can also visit our Facebook page--RecycleOne. One and Done--to ask questions and find more information on these topics.