EllenPratt, Sustainability Manager
Ellen Pratt
Sustainability Manager

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Telephone:
607-687-8274

56 Main Street, Room 109
Owego, NY 13827

Main Phone:
607-687-8274

Recycling Search Tool

A comprehensive search tool enabling you to look up how to dispose of a wide variety of items can be found by CLICKING HERE.

 

Registration Recommended: https://circular.eco/event/TIOGA629

 

Town of Barton - Pit Schedule link

Town of Owego - Highway Department link

  Recycling News

Free Paint Collection Event

  Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is reuse/repurpose?

Reuse is simply defined as items we can use the same thing many times.  Repurpose is creating or using something for a purpose other than its original intended use.  Repurposing an item can be done by modifying it to fit a new use, or by using the item as is in a new way.

Why is reuse/repurpose important?

Reuse helps to conserve resources, prevent pollution and save money.

How can you incorporate more REUSE in your life?

  • Limit your use of single-use items like plastic bags, plastic water bottles, paper towels and plates, etc.

Use reusable containers such as mason jars, cloth bags, and reusable bottles.

  • Keeping something perfectly good going into the trash 

Whether it is hosting or shopping at a garage sale, pulling over for that item with a “free” sign, bringing your no-longer-wanted clothes to a local charity or drop-box, or listing an item on craigslist or Facebook marketplace, there are many ways to reuse durable goods. By keeping the item in play, you just saved the fossil fuels, water, virgin materials, and energy that it took for that product to come to be.

You can be proud of the resource conservation you are involved in. Setting this example is an important part of normalizing reuse and welcoming it as we make strides towards a more circular economy.

  • Fix it!  Look to repair or fix items from clothing to appliances. 

If you need help, there are organizations that will help you fix items.  One such organization is the Ithaca Fixers Collective Fixers Collective | Finger Lakes ReUse (ithacareuse.org/fixers/)

Recycling is mandated by law in New York State and Tioga County (Tioga Local Source Separation Law) and applies to households, multifamily dwellings, businesses and institutions.

 

Here are some options for Tioga County residents:

 

Drop Off Option:

Private:

Taylor Garbage Owego (352 Glenmary Dr, Owego) & Barton (1216 Route 17C, Barton) Transfer Stations accept garbage and recycling drop off from residents in Tioga County.  For more information, call Taylor's Transfer Stations at 607-687-6710 (Owego) or 607-565-8170 (Barton).

Municipalitiy:

Town of Richford Solid Waste/Recycling/E-Waste – Richford, New York (richfordny.com)


Curbside Options:

 

No! They are probably using a split body garbage truck.

 

What is a split body garbage truck?

 

Split body trucks are designed so that regular garbage can be collected in one side, while all recyclables are stored in the other side. Many haulers operating in Tioga County are using split body trucks.

 

WHAT AND HOW TO RECYCLE:

Please make sure all plastic containers have a number 1 - 7 on them

Quick Curbside Recycling Guide

PAPER RECYCLING

  • newspaper
  • magazines
  • catalogs
  • junk mail
  • office paper
  • telephone books
  • soft cover books
  • hard cover books (with the cover removed)
  • greeting cards

SHREDDED PAPER

If you shred at home, place shredded paper in a clear or opaque plastic bag, so it's contained and the recycling staff can see what it is.  It is best if you use one of the shredding events held by local banks and credit unions.

CARDBOARD

  • corrugated cardboard
  • single layer cardboard
  • cereal & tissue boxes
  • egg cartons (Not plastic egg cartons)
  • gable top milk and aseptic cartons (soy/almond milk cartons or juice boxes (not pouches)). All caps and straws go in the trash.

DO NOT RECYCLE - (place these items in your trash)

  • NO waxed cardboard
  • NO food scraps or other contaminants
  • NO soiled paper
  • NO wrapping paper!!!
  • NO styrofoam egg cartons
  • NO tissues, napkins, paper cups, paper plates

GLASS CONTAINERS

  • Clear, brown and green (jars and bottles only)
  • No window pane glass, mirrors, ceramics, plates, cups or light bulbs

PLASTICS - with numbers 1 - 7 only

  • Food and beverage containers (no food or liquid left in container)
  • Detergent, Shampoo containers, etc
  • Microwave trays
  • Small plastic totes (less than 4-feet long)
  • Plastic dish drainers
  • Small plastic waste baskets (less than 4-feet long)
  • Plastic reusable bottles
  • Plastic reusable food storage containers (no food or liquid-empty containers)
  • Recycling tubs (less than 4-feet long) 

No plastic bags*, plastic film*, Styrofoam, packing foam, packing peanuts, "clamshell" containers, utensils and plates.

METAL

  • tin and aluminum cans
  • metal lids such as olive and pickle jar lids
  • clean aluminum foil
  • clean aluminum pans
  • small appliances
  • completely empty aerosol cans

No utensils, hangers, wire, cords or scrap metal

DO NOT RECYCLE:

ABSOLUTELY NO PLASTIC BAGS OF ANY KIND

This includes grocery bags, department store bags, Ziploc bags and garbage bags

*Plastic bags and plastic film can be recycled through bag recycling programs at store locations

NO-Plastic or Food Wrap

NO-Plastic Lids or Caps

NO-Prescription VIALS (the cylindrical orange/brown medicine containers)

NO-Feed, Pet Food, Pellet or Coal Bags

NO-Styrofoam

NO-Light bulbs

NO-Glasses, Glass Plates or Cookware

NO-Window Glass

PLACE THESE IN YOUR TRASH

NEED A NEW RECYCLING BIN?

To replace or receive a new curbside recycling bin, please contact your private or municipal hauler.  

Putting your recycling out the night before your pick-up day to prevent being missed.

Household hazardous waste is unusable home and garden products, which contain hazardous chemicals. Examples are pesticides, fertilizers, household cleaners, driveway sealers, and pool chemicals. 

The improper use, storage or disposal of household hazardous waste may pose a risk to the health of humans, animals and the environment.

To reduce these risks, Tioga and Broome Counties have worked to include Tioga County residents in the use of Broome County’s permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. Wastes will be packed and shipped by trained personnel and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE -

Print the confirmation letter below and BRING IT with you on any of the designated collection days scheduled.  Proof of Tioga County Residency is required.

CONFIRMATION LETTER

2024 DESIGNATED COLLECTION DATES

       April     3, 6, 20                        Aug     3, 7, 17 

       May     1, 4, 18                           Sept    4, 7, 21

       June    1, 5, 15                            Oct      2, 5, 19

       July     3, 6, 20                           Nov     2, 6, 16

Between 7:30 am and 11:30 am to the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Broome County Nanticoke Landfill, 286 Knapp Road, Binghamton, NY 13902.

Please do not bring hazardous waste to the Owego or Barton Transfer Stations.

There is NO CHARGE, but Tioga County residents must come on a designated collection day between 7:30am-11:30am only. 

MATERIALS ACCEPTED:

  • Household cleaners, degreasers, & floor care products
  • Pesticides & fertilizers
  • Solvents, stains, & varnishes
  • Automobile fluids (oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc)
  • Driveway sealers, pool & photography chemicals
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Gasoline & kerosene
  • Paint (Oil & Latex) - Do not make a solid!
  • Computers, monitors, printers
  • Televisions, VCRs, modems, stereos - working or not working accepted
  • Laptops, keyboards, radios
  • Fax machines, pagers, copiers
  • Mobile phones
  • Gaming consoles

Up to 3 TV's & 3 monitors per resident

Materials NOT Accepted

  • Garbage or Recycling from Tioga County Residents
  • Low level radioactive materials
  • Smoke detectors
  • Medical or infectious waste
  • Propane gas tanks
  • Asbestos
  • Explosives (flares)
  • Shock sensitive material (picric acid, crystallized ethers)
  • Countertop appliances (Microwaves, Coffee Makers, Toasters, etc.)  
  • Telephones or answering machines
  • Vacuums or humidifiers
  • Large appliances such as dryers, washing machines, or dishwashers garbage hauler
  • Refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers

Please see "Recycling Search Tool" for disposal methods of specific items

ELECTRONICS RECYCLING OPTIONS:

  • Local Municipalities

    Many Tioga County municipalities have cleanup events that include electronic recycling.  Check with your town to see if they include electronics during their cleanup event. 

    Town of Richford Electronic Recycling Program is now opened to all Tioga County residents.  For more information see their website:

            Solid Waste/Recycling/E-Waste – Richford, New York (richfordny.com)
  • Household Hazardous Waste Program

    More information can be found on under Household Hazardous Waste Program.

    Acceptable items include:

    • Televisions (as well as TV set cathode ray tubes)
    • Computers
    • Computer Peripherals* (Monitors, Keyboards, Mice or Similar Pointing Devices, Facsimile Machines, Document Scanners, Printers)
    • Small Electronic Equipment* (tablets, VCRs, Digital Video Recorders, Portable Digital Music Players, DVD Players, Digital Converter Boxes, Cable or Satellite Receivers, Electronic or Video Game Consoles, etc.)
    • Small Scale Servers

    * Computer peripherals and small electronic equipment also include any cable, cord or wiring permanently affixed to or incorporated into such product. 

  • Companies for Electronics Recycling (may include a fee)

    • React Inc. E-cycling

      225 Colonial Dr, Horseheads, NY 14845

      (607)739-8401

      2024 List of Acceptable Items

      www.react-e-cycling.com

    • ICS Industries - PLEASE CALL FIRST

      7 Badger Ave, Endicott, NY, 13760

      Tom Kennedy: 607-757-0025 or 607-759-8300

      tkennedy@icsindustriesinc.com

      https://icsindustriesinc.com/

      Residential: electronics & metal recycling free of charge for any electronics except CRT TVs & monitors

      Commercial: All electronics recycling, hard drive shredding, paper & media destruction for a fee. Call or email for details. 

    • Best Buy          

      Vestal

      3209 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY

      607-777-1489

      Elmira

      950 County Road 64, Elmira, NY 14903

      (607) 739-9471

      For full program details visit Best Buy e-recycling program website

      Check with store for more info & hours.

    • Staples

      Vestal

      3701 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal NY

      607-797-2524

      Elmira

      821 County Rt 64, Elmira, NY 14903

      Website: www.staples.com

      Check with location for hours of operation & accepted material- (Computers only- no TV's)

    • Red Barn Computers

      370 Pine Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

      607-771-1888

      Accepts all brands & types.

 

Searchable Database: DirectTVdeals- https://www.directvdeals.com/resources/tv-recycling/

Borrow-A-Bin Program

Special Event Recycling Program

 

Looking for a way to recycle at your next community event? Consider the Borrow-A-Bin program.

The Borrow-A-Bin program is a free service that aims to maximize waste diversion at events in Tioga County by loaning up to 40 beverage recycling bins to local events, large or small.

 How to Borrow-A-Bin:

  • Fill out the Borrow-A-Bin form.  Bins will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Please allow time to process your request.
  • Transportation of bins to and from the event is the responsibility of the event’s recycling coordinator or the bin borrower.
  • Up to 2 bags per bin offered, totaling up to 20 bags per sign-out. Most bins require a 50-gallon trash bag.
  • Assembly and breakdown (Instructions link) of the bins are the responsibility of the event’s recycling coordinator or bin borrower.
    • Bins must be returned clean and in good condition within two (2) business days following your event.

 Planning an Event with Recycling:

Helpful Tips:

  • Determine a committee or individual to oversee implementation of the program.
  • Use a timeline to help stay on task during planning.
  • Involve organizers, volunteers, haulers and vendors.
  • Plan to have trash and recycling emptied regularly.
  • During and after the event monitor & evaluate the recycling program.

What to recycle?

You should examine your waste stream to determine what to target. Generally, at festivals, fairs and events food and plastics are a large quantity of the waste. The following items should be targeted for recycling:

Aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, tin and cardboard.

Examine what food & beverages are being vended. Most often bottles and cans will be one of the primary recyclables collected.

Typically, vendors (and exhibitors) produce most of the corrugated cardboard waste at special events. Therefore, cardboard collection points need not be located at public recycling stations, but can be staged behind the scenes, near dumpsters. If sufficient staff is available, circulate around vendor areas to collect cardboard as it is generated. The added convenience may encourage vendors, who were not otherwise inclined, to recycle.

Vendors And Staff

Work closely with all staff and event vendors to ensure proper recycling is being conducted and promoted. Work to encourage waste reduction.

Vendors should be clear on how and when recyclables will be collected.

Staff should be prepared to empty recycling containers on a routine basis, so none overflow.

Staff should be instructed where to properly place recyclables for pickup.

Be sure to continue good recycling practices during the breakdown of the event.

Contracting With a Hauler

In Tioga County your garbage hauler can also provide recycling services for a small fee.

Contact a local hauler to set up hauling of recyclables to a designated recycling facility.

Work with hauler to get an appropriately sized container.

Review preparation guidelines to ensure materials are properly prepared for collection by the hauler or recycler. For example, if recyclables can remain bagged.

Suggested Educational, Signage, & Promotion Ideas:

  • Pre- and post-event press releases featuring the recycling program.
  • Use brightly colored signage to ensure recycling containers stand out from the garbage cans.
  • Reminders to recycle during the event over a P.A. system.
  • Special shirts for the cleaning crew, advertising recycling.
  • Information about the recycling program in publications, programs, ads, etc.…

 

Please note - click on image for guidelines

Compost Bins for Sale

Tioga County Sustainability has partnered with Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation District to offer Earth Machine Composters for sale year-round for Tioga County residents. We are selling the bins for $44. They can be purchased by printing* and completing the order form and making out a check to Tioga County Treasurer and mailing it to Tioga County Sustainability, 56 Main Street, Owego, NY 13827. 

Tioga County Sustainability will mail instructions on how to collect your new Earth Machine compost bin.

If you have any questions, please contact us either by email sustainability@tiogacountyny.gov or call 607-687-8274.

* If you do not have a printer, please clearly write all the information requested on the order form on a piece of paper, make a check out to Tioga County Treasurer and mail both to Tioga County Sustainability, 56 Main Street, Owego, NY 13827. 

 

Composting and Compost Bins

Backyard composting is an effective way of recycling organic wastes such as leaves, grass and food scraps that are generated at home. Composting at home is easy and helps to keep waste out of our landfills.

For more information on improving your home composting checkout the following Tioga County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension website

 

What Can I Compost?

There are many materials you can compost.  The following diagram provides some guidance to what materials are acceptable for composting and those materials it is generally recommended to omit for composting.

 

 

Use It Up! Recipe Links

Here are just a few recipes that use leftovers.  Many more can be found on the internet.

Please call to confirm before dropping off items. 

Cleaning out old clothes and other textiles?

Please DON’T throw away before looking into alternatives! Every year New York State residents and businesses throw away almost 1.4 billion pounds of usable and recyclable textiles.

Reuse:

  • Textiles in good condition such as clothing, footwear, belts, hats, handbags, gloves and other accessories for reuse are accepted at the following locations:

Open Door Mission - 687-1121 or visit their website http://opendoormissionandthereddoor.weebly.com/

       

  •  Please bring Fleece blankets (gently used only) to Stray Haven - 565-2859

                Please call to confirm before dropping off items

 

Recycle:

These items may be taken to the Open Door Mission (687-1121 or http://opendoormissionandthereddoor.weebly.com/) or placed in one of the many bins throughout Tioga County. These items do NOT have to be in "wearable" or perfect condition; they should, however, be clean and dry. For more information on available locations throughout the Southern Tier please visit the Textile Recovery Locations website.

 

***Only Dispose if wet or contaminated (for example: grease, mildew, odors), please place in trash.

Everyday household products can contain hazardous chemicals. Over 1.5 million human poisonings are reported each year to poison control centers and over 90% of the poisonings take place in the home. So, when choosing a cleaning product, ask yourself, is my family going to be in contact with dangerous chemicals? Here is a list of less toxic alternatives to some common household products.

  More Information

Do you have leftover or expired medications and don’t know how to dispose of them? Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them out! Pharmaceuticals are very hard to filter out of water and soil once they are in the environment and persist for a very long time.

Unwanted medications (no sharps) can be brought to a permanent collection box located at:

Tioga County Sheriff’s Office -
Medication Drop Box is located in the main lobby of the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office at 103 Corporate Drive, Owego, NY. The drop box is available Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Needles, lancets, other “sharps” and liquids are not accepted.

Village of Owego Police Department -
Prescription Drop Box is located in the Village of Owego Police Department at 90 Temple St, Owego, NY, (607) 687-2233. The drop box is available Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Needles, lancets, other “sharps” and liquids are not accepted.

Village of Waverly Police Department -
Medication Drop Box is located at the Village of Waverly Police Department located at 32 Ithaca Street, Waverly, NY. The drop box is available Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM.  Needles/Sharps are not accepted.

 

Household Sharps Disposal Guidelines:

Safe disposal of sharps (needles, syringes, lancets) prevents sharps from being re-used or shared, which can spread disease.

Safe disposal protects children, pets and workers, who handle trash & recyclables, from injury or illness.

Safe disposal protects the environment.

Follow the below guidelines when storing sharps until they can safely be disposed of.

DO -

  • Place used Sharps in a sharps container. Containers can be purchased at the local drug store. If you do not have a sharps container use a plastic bottle that cannot be broken or punctured, such as a detergent bottle. Screw cap on & tape cap. Write “SHARPS” on the container. Bring to a designated drop-off location that accepts sharps.
  • Place sharps in container directly after use. Keep container closed and away from children and pets. Store in a secure location.
  • When traveling bring container with you.

 DON'T -

  • Don’t put sharps containers in the trash.* 
  • Don’t clip, bend or put the cap back on used sharps
  • Don’t put loose used sharps or used sharps container in with the recyclables
  • Don’t put used sharps in soda cans, milk cartons, glass bottles or containers that can be broken or punctured. Coffee cans are not safe because plastic lids come off easily, leak and can be punctured.

*Used sharps containers can be placed in the trash only if access to a drop-off is not available

Sharps Disposal Locations:

Within Tioga County:

Riverview Rehabilitation and Nursing - (607) 687- 1100

510 Fifth Ave, Owego, NY

Elderwood at Waverly - (607) 565-2861

37 North Chemung St, Waverly, NY

 

Outside Tioga County:

Sayre Guthrie Clinic (570) 888-5858

1 Guthrie Sq, Sayre, PA

Wilson Hospital 763-6599

33-57 Harrison St., Johnson City

Binghamton General Hospital 763-6599

10-42 Mitchell Ave., Binghamton

Lourdes Hospital 798-5218

161 Riverside Dr., Binghamton

Willow Point Nursing Home 763-4400

3700 Old Vestal Rd., Vestal

Hilltop Campus 798-7818

286 Deyo Hill Rd., Johnson City

Bridgewater for Rehabilitation and Nursing

729-9206

282 Riverside Dr., Johnson City

River Meade Nursing Home 722-7225

159 Front St., Binghamton

Ideal Senior Living Center 786-7420

508 High Ave., Endicott

Good Shepard - Fairview Home, Inc - 724-2477

80 Fairview Ave., Binghamton

 

For a full listing of local sharps disposal locations visit - New York State Directory of Community Sharps Collection Sites

Mercury is a shiny, silvery liquid metal that can cause serious health problems -

Liquid mercury vaporizes (evaporates) at room temperature causing elevated levels of mercury in indoor air. Mercury vapor is not irritating and has no odor, so people do not know when they are breathing it. Even the small amount of mercury from a broken thermometer can cause harm, especially to children, unless it is properly cleaned up and removed.

Mercury health effects -

  • Breathing small amounts of mercury vapor can harm the nervous system of unborn babies, nursing infants, and children.
  • Breathing larger amounts of mercury vapor can cause irritability, tremors, or memory loss; shortness of breath; respiratory & eye irritation; chest pain; high blood pressure; kidney damage.

Know where mercury may be found in your home -

Mercury may be found in thermometers, thermostats, blood pressure units, barometers and gas pressure regulators. Exposure to mercury can occur when people handle or play with the liquid metal, or when a measuring device breaks and mercury beads scatter onto floors or other surfaces. Spilled mercury is very hard to clean up, especially if it rolls into cracks and crevices, or if it is on fabric, upholstery or other porous material.

If you have old mercury thermometers or thermostats hanging around and you’re not sure what to do with them, you have several options.

1. Mercury Thermometers and Thermostats may be properly disposed at through the Tioga County Hazardous Waste Program.

Mismanaged mercury can be toxic and under certain circumstances can have highly detrimental effects on the nervous system. Removing mercury thermometers from the trash or the sanitary sewers is of considerable benefit to the environment.

2. Click on the following website for a list of other locations that accept THERMOSTATS in the community.

http://www.thermostat-recycle.org/

What you should do immediately after a mercury spill -

Avoid contact with the spilled mercury until you decide who will be cleaning it up - you or a professional. In general, you can clean up a small mercury spill yourself, such as from a fever thermometer or thermostat. This fact sheet provides a step-by-step guide on pages 3-4 on how to do the cleanup.

The New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation recommend that a trained professional, such as a hazardous waste contractor, do the cleanup whenever the amount of mercury spilled is greater than what is typically found in a fever thermometer or thermostat. In other words, if the amount of mercury spilled exceeds 3 grams or about the size of a green pea, a trained professional should do the cleanup.

Avoid spreading spilled mercury!

  • Never use a vacuum cleaner, mop or broom to clean up a mercury spill.
  • Avoid walking through the spill area.
  • Take children and pets to another room. Leave any clothing or footwear that came into contact with the spilled mercury in the affected room. If possible, close the doors of the room with the spilled mercury to keep vapors from spreading.

If the amount of mercury is more than what is in a thermometer - consider the following:

  • Stay out of the room until you begin the cleanup. If you cannot clean the area immediately, cover the spill and surrounding area with plastic. You can use one or more trash bags, overlapping side by side, to cover the beads until you can clean the spill.
  • Lower the room temperature, if possible, to reduce evaporation of mercury.
  • Shut down or close off vents that could spread mercury vapors to other areas.
  • Open exterior windows to ventilate any mercury vapors to the outdoors. If possible, place a fan in a window to blow the vapors out but avoid breezes that might blow the mercury vapor back indoors or into other nearby residences. You can run a bathroom exhaust fan or a cooking stove hood but only if it vents outdoors and only if it is located in the same room as the mercury spill.

Decide who will do the cleanup - you or a professional?

If the spill is... more than the amount in a mercury fever thermometer or thermostat, or if it is widely scattered, or if the spill is on carpeting which cannot be thrown out, or on upholstered furniture, or other porous items that cannot be bagged... you should call a trained professional. Check your telephone Yellow Pages under "Environmental engineers" or “Engineering services".

If in doubt... contact your local health department or others listed at the end of this fact sheet for more information.

Plan ahead if you have mercury-containing items in your home - get a Mercury Spill Kit

Mercury spill clean-up kits are available for purchase from laboratory equipment suppliers (some are listed in the box to the right). Carefully follow all the directions provided in the kit.

These mercury spill kits generally contain powders and suction devices. Additionally, it is recommended that you collect the items listed below and keep them with the kit.

List of what can be used to clean up a mercury spill:

  • latex or vinyl gloves
  • flashlight
  • zipper-type plastic bags (several)
  • plastic trash bags (at least two)
  • wide tape (masking, duct or clear)
  • paper towels
  • eyedropper
  • two index cards or pieces of stiff cardboard
  • sulfur powder (see below for details)
  • water to moisten paper towels

Sulfur powder (also called flowers of sulfur) can be purchased from agriculture supply stores, garden centers, and some pharmacies. For questions about the type of sulfur powder used during mercury spill cleanup, please contact the New York State Department of Health at 518-402-7810 or 800-458-1158.

Mercury Spill Kit Suppliers

  • Krackeler Scientific 800-334-7725
  • Lab Safety Supply 800-356-0783
  • Cole-Parmer 800-323-4340

For schools and businesses only:

  • Fisher Scientific 800-766-7000
  • Mallinckrodt/Baker 800-582-2537
  • Sigma Aldrich 800-325-3010
  • VWR Scientific 800-932-5000

For schools only:

  • Flinn Scientific 800-452-1261

WARNING

  • NEVER use a vacuum cleaner, mop or broom to clean up a mercury spill. Heat from the vacuum cleaner's motor will increase the amount of mercury vapor in the air. Mops and brooms will spread the mercury, making proper clean up more difficult. The vacuum cleaner, mop or broom will become contaminated with mercury.
  • NEVER use a washer or dryer to clean clothing that became contaminated with liquid mercury. The washer and dryer can become contaminated with mercury. If these items are contaminated with mercury, they are very difficult to clean and may have to be disposed as hazardous waste.

Practical Information about mercury

A mercury spill usually forms several pools and many beads of mercury. Mercury does not stick to most materials other than some metals. Mercury beads roll very easily, often scattering long distances from the original location of the spill and getting into cracks and crevices where it can be very difficult to remove them. Cleaning up a mercury spill requires patience and attention to detail to recover the mercury and to limit your exposure to toxic mercury vapors.

Before you start to do a mercury spill cleanup!

At this point, you should have read the previous sections in this fact sheet that describe a small mercury spill, what you should do immediately after a mercury spill and what you need to know if you decide to do the spill cleanup yourself. The following section is a general step–by–step guide on how to clean up a small mercury spill. You should complete each of the following steps to recover the spilled mercury and remove the contamination. Any mercury not removed will continue to be a source of potentially harmful mercury vapors.

  • Use Reusable Shopping Bags
  • Recycle and Buy Recycled Goods
  • Sell or donate unwanted items such as clothes, furniture and etc.
  • Start a Composting Pile
  • Choose durable/reusable goods
  • Buy in bulk, rather than single-serving packages

 

Click HERE for NYSDEC Odd Recycling sheet

  Outreach & Education

The Sustainability/Recycling Department offers several opportunities for teachers, organizations, and individuals to learn about recycling and waste reduction. We can tailor a presentation to fit the needs of your group or class.

School lessons and presentations can be taught on a variety of topics relating to waste reduction, reuse/repurposing and recycling.  Presentations can be adapted to focus on a particular school subject or curriculum standard making recycling education easy and accessible for interested teachers.

By teaching children about waste reduction, reuse and recycling early, it becomes a life value. Additionally, when we teach children, we also reach adults-parents, teachers and other members of the community.

Schedule an Educational Program

 

Partial funding for recycling, waste reduction and household hazardous waste programs is provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.