New Year Clean-up

It’s a new year and many of us are taking down holiday decorations, dealing with packaging materials and going through old items in light of new items that have been gifted. Here are some tips on how to handle common post-holiday items courtesy of the NYSDEC.

Packaging and Shipping Materials

If you received a gift or other packages in the mail, chances are it includes packaging materials and you may be wondering what to do with them. Use the chart below to help with the different materials you have on hand and remember that reuse is always the best option.

Christmas Tree Recycling

After you’ve taken down all the trimmings, there are a few ways you can go green when saying goodbye to your Holiday tree:

  • Providing shelter for nature. If you have space in your yard, consider using your tree as a brush pile for the birds. Not only will the pile provide extra shelter for feathered friends during the cold winter months, but it’ll also give you some excellent backyard bird-watching opportunities! View tips on outdoor tree disposal options.
  • Tree Collection for Recycling. Your municipality may offer a free tree collection or recycling program that will recycle your tree into mulch or compost. Remember to remove all lights & decorations first. Contact your local department of public works to find out more. The ‘Events’ section of this newsletter includes some Christmas tree recycling events we were able to find.

Electronics Recycling

With holiday cheer and gifts galore, many of you will give or receive new electronic equipment. As you switch out of the old and welcome the new, please remember to recycle your old electronics responsibly.

Examples of common electronic equipment that must be recycled:

  • Computers (desktops, laptops, e-readers, tablets, etc.)
  • Computer peripherals (mice, keyboards, monitors, printers, etc.)
  • Small electronic equipment (DVR’s, DVD players, MP3 players, video game consoles, etc.)
  • Televisions

It is illegal to dispose these and other covered electronic equipment (CEE) in the trash under New York’s electronic waste law.

How to recycle electronics:
Visit DEC’s Consumer Electronic Waste Recycling webpage for information on all available recycling/reuse opportunities.

Manufacturers of CEE are required to provide consumers a free and convenient opportunity to recycle their equipment or one piece of CEE from another manufacturer with the purchase of the same type. Depending on a specific manufacturer’s acceptance program, CEE recycling/reuse opportunities may include: permanent collection locations, local collection events, mailback programs, or at-home pickup (when no other free and convenient option is offered).

How to recycle cell phones:
Wireless telephone service suppliers that offer wireless phones for sale, are required to provide free reuse and recycling of up to 10 cell phones from any person or provide free shipping of those phones to a recycling program. Contact your local wireless telephone service provider for more cell phone recycling program details. Learn more about NYS Wireless Telephone Recycling Act.

Questions or concerns? Contact the E-waste Recycling Team.

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