Eco Talk: Cayuga County recycling event scheduled in time for spring cleaning | lifestyle

Judy Wright Special to The Citizen

After a pause due to COVID-19, Cayuga County’s Spring Electronics Plus Recycling Event is back and available to Cayuga County households only.

As we undertake spring cleaning, please keep in mind that some seemingly innocent household items should not be thrown into the household trash, as they contain hazardous materials.

Do you have out-of-date, broken or obsolete electronics such as computers, keyboards, fax machines, scanners, radios, cellphones, pagers, microwave ovens, and universal power supply cords, just to name a few? All of these are considered to be electronics and should be recycled.

The Cayuga Recycles partners have scheduled the Spring Electronics Plus Recycling Event for 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Saturday, April 9. This event is open to Cayuga County residents; however, registration is required and once registered for a time slot, you will receive confirmation of the location. Registration is open now and available on a first come, first served basis with only 500 time slots available. Go to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County’s website at blogs.cornell.edu/ccecayuga to register. For those unable to access the internet, call the local extension at (315) 255-1183. Registration will remain open until April 8 or until time slots are filled.

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At the Spring Electronics Plus Recycling Event, households can bring a total of four old-tube television sets and CRT computer monitors. All other acceptable electronic items are unlimited. Did you realize the older tube-style TVs may contain 6 to 8 pounds of lead in their cathode ray tubes, plus other materials that can harm the environment if disposed of improperly?

In addition to electronics, Cayuga Recycles will also accept button cell and hearing aid batteries. Alkaline batteries no longer contain mercury and can be thrown away in your regular trash — please do not bring these.

Fluorescent tube light bulbs, which contain mercury, will be accepted for recycling at no charge due to partial funding from the state Department of Environmental Conversation. Both big-box home improvement stores in the Auburn area accept and recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs and larger rechargeable batteries year-round. Therefore, these items will not be accepted at the April 9 recycling event. Bring any toner and ink cartridges from printers for free recycling.

Do you have old windows or portable air conditioning units, small refrigerators or dehumidifiers? These can also be recycled on Saturday, April 9, at no charge with funding from Nucor Steel, but there is a 40-pound limit.

A list of acceptable items for recycling is available on Cayuga County’s Solid Waste Management website, with a link to it on the event registration page. Be sure to double check to make sure you are bringing what is being accepted. Also, some common items that are not being accepted are smoke detectors, devices containing liquid mercury, and household hazardous waste (save those for the household hazardous waste collection event). Other items that will not be accepted are gas-powered equipment, large appliances, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, wooden speakers and LED and CFL lightbulbs.

Each case, Cayuga Recycles partners conduct a hazardous household waste collection event. So hold on to pool chemicals, driveway sealers, latex and oil-based paints, solvents, pesticides, adhesives, polishes, waxes and mercury. Improper disposal of household hazardous waste can impact the environment for both the near-term and long-term. The date and location are still to be announced, but save all household hazardous waste, which will be accepted at no cost.

The Spring Electronics Plus Recycling Event is sponsored by Cayuga Recycles. Cayuga Recycles is a partnership of the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Office, Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County.

Special thanks to Nucor Steel for its continuing financial assistance. Its contributions help to offset the recycling costs. Please consider making a donation when registering to help keep these recycling events free. The cost to recycle has increased due to new policies and procedures, limited markets for recycled materials and rising labor costs.

If you have any questions about the Spring Electronics Plus Recycling Event, please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County at (315) 255-1183 and leave a message in the general message center so your question can be answered.

As you are cleaning this spring, begin collecting and categorizing items for recycling. You will feel good about making sure potentially hazardous materials are safely and responsibly disposed of and not a problem for future generations to solve.

Judy Wright is the senior agriculture specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County. For more information, visit senecacountycce.org or call (315) 539-9251 ext. 109

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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