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Nov 21

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

Posted on November 21, 2018 at 1:56 PM by Regina Connelly

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

12 Ways to Fix Your Holiday Waste Woes

The holiday season means tons of joy and celebration with friends and family, but it also means a lot more trash ends up at our local landfills. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we end up throwing away 25% more garbage than any other time of year[1]. That means way too many holiday cards, bags of used wrapping paper, and leftovers end up in our bins.

Here are some tips to get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions, and make this an eco-friendly holiday season:

  1. Rethink your packaging it’s one of the biggest waste contributors. Cut back on paper and cardboard by opting for reusable tins, bags and boxes. They’re the gift that keeps on giving.
  2. If you feel the need to go the wrapping route, get creative and find fun or festive reusable or recyclable materials you already have around the house.
  3. Or use wrapping paper that’s already made of recycled paper. Most wrapping paper is recyclable but stay away from shiny, glittery, or velvety papers
  4. Cut back on plastic ribbons or bows that can’t go in your recycling bin. Or find a crafty way to reuse them.
  5. Bring back the e-card fad. The mantle-life of holiday cards is pretty short considering the waste they create. You can save money and the environment by going digital or at least segmenting your list for those who really need a physical card.
  6. Pick a thoughtful gift or gift card. When we’re in a creative gifting pinch it’s tempting to grab a cheesy mug or funny pair of socks just to get something cut back on gifts that end up in the dumpster if they aren’t re-gifted.
  7. Use your brain and not your stomach when shopping and planning. Nothing brings family and friends together over the holidays like tasty food, but who wants to run out of turkey or pumpkin pie? It’s easy to overbuy and over prepare leaving us with leftovers that end up in the bin or cans that sit on our shelves until next year.
  8. Bring leftover items to your local food bank or soup kitchen. It will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy long after the holidays are over.
  9. Holiday meals are the perfect time to break out that fine china for serving food, and it cuts back on waste to use what you already have.
  10. Take it one step further and go with cloth napkins can that be washed for additional uses rather than use paper napkins.
  11. Bring your Christmas tree to a yard waste drop-off location when you’re finally ready to let it go. It’s tempting to just leave it at the curb just like household waste. But it’s a TREE, which means it should be disposed of like one.
  12. Make this a New Year’s resolution you actually stick with and build eco-friendly waste-reducing activities all year round.

[1] https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention

Oct 29

Second Life of a Pumpkin

Posted on October 29, 2018 at 9:13 AM by Regina Connelly

Pumpkin Blog Image
Nothing says fall like front walks and porches lined with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes grinning back at us. But once November hits, most residents first inclination is to toss their rotting gourds in the trash, but when we do that the pumpkin adds extra weight and takes up wasted space in our bags and landfills.

The trick is to compost your pumpkin, so it becomes a treat for your garden.

Don’t have a compost at home? Have no fear, Ontario County has got you covered.

Just bring your old pumpkins to one of three convenient locations on
Saturday, November 3rd from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Town of Victor Transfer Station
60 Rawson Road, Victor

Town of Geneva Transfer Station
32 White Springs Road, Geneva

Ontario County Parking Lot
Corner of Ontario and Pleasant Street, Canandaigua

Sign up here to be notified of all future recycling events.

Oct 25

Take the Stress Out of Vacation Recycling

Posted on October 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM by Regina Connelly

Take the Stress Out of Vacation Recycling

Don’t take a vacation from recycling when you visit the Finger Lakes this fall!

The fall is the perfect time for a Finger Lakes trip, but it can be tough to know the in’s and out’s of recycling when you’re away from home.

Are the rules the same as back home?
To sort or not to sort?
What to do with pet waste?

Questions like these often lead to leaf peepers opting for a “safer” choice and putting everything in the bin or trashing it all.

And who can blame them? It’s a vacation, right! We’ve got some simple tips to take the stress out of recycling on your next trip:

1)    Know what belongs in the bin. 
Infographic - what goes in the binjpg_Page1

T
hese items are Not Bin-Friendly:

  • Styrofoam, wax coated paper products, paper towels or tissues
  • Window glass, light bulbs, Pyrex, drinking glasses or ceramics
  • Car parts, batteries, appliance parts, or other scrap metals
  • Plastic bags, plastic film, biodegradable plastic

2)  Don’t waste time sorting.
Ontario County is a Zero-Sort community! That means all the bin-friendly materials listed above can get tossed in the same recycling bin and brought out to the curb each week. We like to keep the sorting as simple as possible!

3)  Get the scoop on pet waste.
A fall trip to the Finger Lakes is the perfect vacation for your furry friends to tag along. Pet waste can be a great fertilizer if properly composted but leaving it to take natures course can be a health risk in public parks or at a vacation rental property. The best way to dispose of your pet’s poop is with biodegradable pet waste bags and tossing it in the trash.

If you’re interested in learning about proper pet composting check out the previous 'Scoop on Pet Waste' blog post.

4)  Cut back on the plastic.
Even though it’s fall you’ll need to stay hydrated while hiking on trails or walking your dog. Reduce bottle waste by staying hydrated with refillable containers. Get refillable bottles for the whole crew to cut back on disposable plastic bottles. Not only is it better for the environment it will cut back on your vacation expenses.

5)  Pack with reusable shopping bags.
Reusable shopping bags are a great way to pack for your trip and leave a smaller waste footprint when you head home. Plus, they’ll come in handy for trips to the grocery store or if you’re packing lunch for a scenic hike.