Holiday Recycling Guide
Wrapping paper and cardboard tubes: Consider reusing wrapping paper and gift bags! To recycle, all types of wrapping paper (unless it’s made of plastic rather than paper) and cardboard tubes may be placed in your Single Stream curbside recycling. If you do not have this service, brown wrapping paper, such as kraft paper bags, and paper tubes from wrapping paper can be recycled with cardboard boxes. Wrapping paper with colors can be recycled with office, home papers as long as they are not shiny. All types of wrapping paper and cardboard (unless it’s made of plastic) may also be recycled in the Green Fiber bins at the Elm Avenue CDTA Park & Ride.
Cardboard boxes: Single or triple layer cardboard must be flattened, and either recycled curbside with your waste hauler, at the Rupert Road Transfer Station, or placed in the 2 big green cardboard bins in the center of the Elm Avenue CDTAPark & Ride.
Gift packaging: Hard plastic packaging which is clean and free of contaminants, such as the clear plastic clamshell containers, can be recycled with your Single Stream curbside recycling, or with the comingled plastic/glass/metal containers at the Rupert Road Transfer Station.
Christmas tree recycling: Set real trees out curbside after the holiday, remove all ornaments and tinsel. No plastic bags please. The Town picks up trees after the holidays.
Holiday lights: Store for next year, or recycle your holiday lights: HolidayLEDs offers customers a chance to recycle their old incandescent holiday lights and receive a 25% coupon discount on any purchase of new, energy efficient LED holiday lights off their website. The program will run through January 2012. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.holidayleds.com/holidayledscom_christmas_light_recycling_program.
Light strands are barely biodegradable (if at all). Plastic and wire can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose not to mention the risk to the animals that rummage in and near our landfills. Just as the plastic rings that bind 6-packs of cola and beer can strangle small creatures, so can Christmas lights, turning a thing of joy in our homes into a killer in nature.
Plastic Bags and Film: Plastic shrink wrap, plastic bags, and other types of clean, dry “plastic film” can be recycled with store bags at your local grocery store, or stores like Target, CVS, Lowes or Walmart. A statewide law requires certain retail and grocery stores to set up a plastic carry out bag recycling program for their customers. Stores with 10,000 square feet or more of retail space and chains which operate five or more stores with greater than 5,000 square feet of retail space, and which provide plastic carry out bags to customers, are required to comply with the law.
Polystyrene/Styrofoam packaging: Packing peanuts and often even the foam blocks can be given to shipping companies like Ship, Copy and More in Delmar. Alternatively, white “Expanded Polystyrene” blocks or forms that are clean and contain no paint or tape, etc. can be saved until you have a quantity, then taken to Shelter Enterprises for recycling (you can identify polystyrene as expanded foam if is composed of numerous tiny foam “beads” and will separate into little balls when broken apart). You need to contact Don Bertolucci first to make an appointment to drop it off: Phone: 237-4100 extension 16. Address: 8 Saratoga Street, Cohoes (at the North end of Route 787).
Old Electronics: Bring unwanted electronics to the Rupert Road Transfer Station for recycling (a small fee applies for some items), or save them to bring to the Town’s free Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling event held each spring. Cell phones and rechargeable batteries can be recycled at Town Hall or the Town Highway Garage during regular business hours.
Green gift purchases: Sustainable gift ideas include food, drink and house plants; home-made items; cleaning service, restaurants and other gift cards; and donations to non-profit organizations. See the Town´s Donating Reusables Brochure for a list of local charities which accept donated items:
Shopping recycled: This can be done in the grocery store as well as the toy or department store. Look for recyclable packaging, items with less packaging or less non-recyclable packaging. Remember to bring your cloth bags to the store with you when shopping. Keep in mind, beware of "greenwashing" (false or misleading environmental claims about products).
Fore more ways to recycle unwanted clothing, items, etc., please see Donating Reusables and Voluntary Recycling and Electronic Recycling at the Rupert Road Transfer Station.