Nov 22

Sustainable Holiday Series- Kick Off

Posted on November 22, 2022 at 10:42 AM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Sustainable Holiday Series Image FinalDuring the holidays, households typically produce up to 25% more waste. Whether it’s from packaging related to purchases, wasted food, or single use and disposable items it all adds up. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep in mind, the best way to have a sustainable holiday is to simplify. When you simplify the holidays, you often reduce your costs, stress, and waste.

With so much focus on supply chain issues, shortages, and increased costs for items- what better time to rethink holiday gift giving? Consider starting early on your gift giving list to be more intentional and thoughtful. This gives you more time to make homemade gifts, as well as to avoid unnecessary last-minute purchases. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share our sustainable holiday series. It will have ideas to help reduce waste when it comes to holiday meals, decorations, shopping/gift giving, and gift wrapping. We compiled some ideas to help you support local businesses, reduce waste, and have a sustainable holiday.

When it comes to holiday meals there are lots of strategies that will help you reduce waste:

  • Make a meal plan- Plan ahead for how many guests you will have and what dishes you will make. There are lots of great online resources to help you plan a successful holiday meal.
  • Make the most of your leftovers- Check out this great resource with creative ideas for using up leftovers. Some of the recipes include: turkey pot pie, turkey soup with stuffing dumplings, turkey Waldorf salad, stuffing-stuffed mushrooms, and more!
  • Use reusable items- By avoiding single-use and disposable items you not only reduce waste, but you can also save a lot of money. Ceramic dishes, glassware, and cloth napkins are an easy way to make your event feel elegant.
  • Compost your scraps- Hopefully you have been able to use up all those leftovers, but inevitably your left with scraps that aren’t edible. During your meal prep and after the meal you may be left with potato/carrot peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells. If you are not already composting at home, consider checking out a curbside or drop off composting service. We’ve got a list of service providers here.
Nov 15

Happy America Recycles Day

Posted on November 15, 2022 at 11:30 AM by Regina Sousa

Happy America Recycles Day! Do you ever wonder where your recyclables go after you put them in the recycling bin? Used items journey through several stages of the recycling process as they are transformed into renewed, marketable items. Knowing the stages of the recycling process helps us to understand why it is so important to recycle right.

Here in Ontario County all of the materials that are collected for recycling are taken to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located adjacent to the Ontario County Landfill. Often people ask us if the materials they separate for recycling are actually recycled. YES, they are! According to the NYS DEC any materials that are separated by you and taken to the MRF cannot be disposed of as garbage. If you are a wish-cycler, and place items that are not actually recyclable in your bin, those items will be separated and disposed of. You can be confident the rest of those carboard boxes, aluminum cans, and plastic milk jugs are separated by material and sent to manufacturers to be turned into new materials.RRNY Stages of Recycling

What are some of the benefits of recycling? It reduces materials being sent to the landfill, it saves resources and energy, it creates jobs, and it prevents pollution.

Adapted from #RecycleRightNY resources

Nov 10

How many times can that be recycled?

Posted on November 10, 2022 at 9:09 AM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

ARD toolkit 2022 FB 3All recycling is not created equal. Did you know that some materials can be recycled over and over, and others can only be recycled a limited number of times? We’ve ranked materials from highest recyclability to lowest.

  • Metal- Unlimited
    • Metal includes food and beverage cans and scrap metal items. You can confidently place your empty soda cans and soup cans in your recycling bin and know that they are a material that has a high value due to its ability to easily be turned into new products. Scrap metal items (everything that isn’t a food or beverage can) can be turned into new products but should not be placed in your recycling bin. Check with your local transfer station for disposal of these materials.
  • Glass- Unlimited
    • Glass, like metal, can readily be recycled into new products. Glass does not lose any value during the recycling process. Just make sure you only include container glass in your recycling bin. Drinking glasses, window glass, and ceramics are made from different materials and should not be included.
  • Paper- 5 to 7 Times
    • Paper is made up of fibers. Every time paper is recycled these fibers get broken down into smaller pieces, limiting what the recycled paper can be used for. This is often also why you will see some recycled content and some virgin content mixed to make a new material. Copier paper and cardboard boxes require longer fibers. Other materials, like egg cartons, tissues, and toilet paper can use paper fibers that are too short for other applications.
  • Plastic- Once or Twice
    • Every time plastic is recycled the quality decreases. This prevents your plastic water bottle from being turned into a new plastic water bottle over and over again. Plastic materials are often turned into fleece, plastic lumber, or carpeting, which after it has reached its useful life must be disposed of in a landfill.


Want to find out more about how materials are recycled and what they can be turned into? Check out this neat resource: Recycling Journey