Volume III | Issue IV
Take Note of Changes in Plastic Recycling
Set out recyclables out on time and 
follow all of the guidelines. Sign up for automatic recycling reminders at 
New guidelines covering plastics recycling were announced in the Summer of 2018, Since then, our office and the recycling collectors have encouraged residents to “Clean the Stream” and “Recycle Right” to eliminate contamination. Some of the most important points are:

  •  Plastics must have a #1, 2, or 5 recycling symbol to be recycled. These numbers identify the specific type of plastic used.
  • Food and beverage containers must be rinsed and free of residue.
  • When in doubt, keep it out—Only include items that you are sure can be recycled. No “wishcycling!”
If there is a problem with your recycling, a note is left explaining how to fix it. Recycling collectors will be stepping up enforcement later this spring and begin rejecting improper recycling setouts. With these changes, recyclable material from Tompkins County will be cleaner and much less likely to create problems in the recycling process.

We appreciate everyone’s help and patience in achieving this goal. Presentations are available to community groups interested in learning more about this topic. Call our office at (607) 273-6632, or email reducewaste@tompkins-co.org .
Food Scraps Transfer Building Complete
The Fork 'Em Over truck dropped off its first load of food scraps in early December.
A new Food Scraps Transfer Building has been constructed at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center to enable efficient collection and transportation of food scraps to Cayuga Compost in Trumansburg. The new building is already being used to transfer material from Food Scraps Recycling Drop Spots, and is open to commercial haulers. Some of the structure’s features include a specially designed tip floor that drains and collects liquids, and an automated tote dumping and washing station. Funding was partially provided by a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Climate Smart Communities grant.
America Recycles Day Shred Event
RMM staff and Challenge Workfore Solutions employees at the free shred event.
America Recycles Day is observed every year in mid-November with a focus on continually improving recycling practices. This year, Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management (TCRMM) partnered with Challenge Workforce Solutions to offer a free Confidential Document Shred Day. Since other community shredding events only take place in the Spring and Summer, many residents were eager to safely and conveniently recycle their confidential documents.
Challenge brought all of the equipment needed for a secure collection, as well as a portable shredder for demonstration purposes. Challenge employees worked with TCRMM staff to direct traffic and assist in the unloading of documents. It was an unusually cold and snowy day for mid-November, but attendance was high. 67 cars stopped by the event to unload a total of 1,392 pounds of paper.
Fee Changes
Some fees will increase at the start of 2019:

  • Disposal coupons will be $10 for automobiles and $15 for SUVs and minivans. Coupons from previous years plus cash can be exchanged at the TCRMM office.
  • The Solid Waste Annual Fee will increase from $55 to $58 per household.
  • Tire disposal, recycling bins, and compost turners will also increase in price.

Visit RecycleTompkins.org for more details. 
ReBusiness Spotlight
M&T Bank Triphammer recently became a ReBusiness Partner.

Visit RecycleTompkins.org/ReBusiness to find out how your business can, too!
Holiday Recycling Tips
Americans create 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Be sure to follow these tips to recycle more and lower your environmental impact this holiday season: 

  • Reduce dinner party food waste with the Guestimator tool from SaveTheFood.com
  • Use the Food Scraps Recycling Drop Spots for easy composting (13 locations).
  • Wrapping paper, gift bags, greeting cards, and envelopes can be recycled at the curb (no metallic, plastic or foil-lined paper, and no tissue paper). Use wrapping paper that is made from recycled content, and always break down and recycle cardboard boxes.
  • Check with your city, town, or village for Christmas tree and wreath recycling. They can also be brought to the yard waste area of the Recycling and Solid Waste Center for free. Please remove all decorations and support wires.
  • Damaged LED holiday lights can go with electronics at the Recycling and Solid Waste   Center. Non-LED style light strands are also accepted with the bulbs removed. Some stores and online outlets such as HolidayLEDs.com may accept complete older style light strands.
  • Styrofoam is not recyclable, but packing peanuts may be accepted at certain shipping companies for reuse. 

The Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management wishes you a happy, safe and ‘green’ holiday season!
Holiday Closings

Dec. 25th, Christmas Day
& Jan. 1st, New Year’s Day

•Office and RSWC closed
•No curbside pickup
•Curbside pickup on one day delay for rest of week

Jan. 21st, Martin Luther King Jr Day
& Feb. 18th, Presidents’ Day

•Office closed
•Normal operation for RSWC and curbside
A Fond Farewell
Senior Weigh Scale Operator Debra Barnard is retiring after many years of dedicated service to Tompkins County. Frequent visitors to the RSWC will join us in wishing her a fond farewell. We hope to continue enjoying her presence (and famous deviled eggs) at office celebrations!

Did You Know...

Recycling electronics is required by law. The components are
hazardous to the environment if thrown in the trash or illegally dumped. Residents and businesses can recycle electronics for free at the RSWC.

Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management
(607) 273-6632 | reducewaste@tompkins-co.org | recycletompkins.org