DEC Recycle Right campaign
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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Right This Summer

Whether you’re breaking out the water toys, outdoor furniture, goggles and s’more sticks, planning to recreate local, or having a cookout at home, it’s important to remember how to properly recycle, reduce waste, and dispose of trash properly this summer. Follow these tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle right this summer.


Reduce Waste

  • Choose reusable plates, cups, cutlery, napkins and straws if possible. There are many non-breakable, lightweight options you can use outdoors.
  • Making your own drinks can be a fun hobby! There are plenty of resources available online to learn how to make your own drinks with simple ingredients that create less waste than single-serving beverage containers.
  • When switching from spring to summer items, donate items you find that you no longer need. Follow your local rules regarding COVID-19.
  • Repair summer items you find that are broken.
  • Reduce wasted food and stretch your food dollars by meal planning.
  • Compost food scraps if you can.

Recycle Right

  • Most recycling programs can’t accept single-use plastic plates, cups, straws, and cutlery. Paper serving ware is often too food soiled or covered in a waterproof coating that prevents them from being recyclable. Check with your local recycling coordinator, hauler, or local transfer station for your communities recycling program rules.
  • Only recycle foil that is free of food residue.
  • Paper napkins, tissues, paper towel and wipes do not belong in the recycling bin.
  • Clean out ketchup and mustard bottles using a little water, shaking the bottle, and pouring liquid out before recycling them. Keep a small spatula by the sink with your dish washing supplies to clean out jars.
  • Grill beyond repair? Contact your local recycling coordinator, transfer station, or scrap metal yard to ask if it can be recycled in a scrap metal program.
  • Gas tanks and canisters from grills cannot be recycled in your home recycling bin. They can become a hazard for drivers during transportation and workers at recycling facilities.
  • Not in the bin! Gardening gloves, tools, flip flops, goggles, pool toys, life jackets, beach chairs, and outdoor furniture do not belong in your recycling bin.

Prevent Litter

  • Prevent plastic pollution and other trash from entering waterways and the environment by disposing of trash responsibly. Avoid placing trash in overflowing outdoor bins and keep a lid on curbside bins and toters.
  • Do not litter disposable masks and gloves. Keep a small baggie or container with you on the go to place used items in to throw away later if a trash container is not available. Masks and gloves do not belong in home recycling bins. 

This piece created from the DEC June Recycle Right NY Campaign.

Last updated June 30, 2020