Since its inception, Orange Environment has fought against Orange County being used as a dumping ground for NYS and NYC waste. Part of that effort was our successful battle against the Al Turi Landfill and Expansion of the Orange County landfill, and in the late 80’s forcing mandatory recycling to be introduced to Orange County. Perhaps the most dramatic impact by OE has been in shifting Orange County away from waste disposal and toward a target of 90% waste avoidance and recycling. As part of that on-going effort, we all must still do our part in reducing waste in our homes, our towns, and our region.
Each of us can make a difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials in our own homes and throughout our communities and encouraging our neighbors to do the same.
- Properly recycle your waste in your own home so when picked up on trash and recycling days we have reduced our own trash footprint and enable the recycling of local material by our village or town authorities. Improperly disposed of materials can add costs and fines that are incurred by the town our taxes support.
- On Earth Day, April 22, show your commitment to a clean environment by volunteering for a cleanup effort in your community.
- Organize a recycling drive in your neighborhood or at school. Collect bottles, glass, plastic, newspapers or books and take them to your local recycling center or a charity in need.
- Hot summer days make you thirsty. Be sure to recycle your used drink containers. Consider putting a filter on your water tap and refilling bottles with the filtered water. Instead of buying many small drink bottles, buy drink mixes in bulk and fill your reusable bottles.
- Learn to compost at home – take one of our virtual Practice Sustainable Living workshops online! Use food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic wastes to create a compost pile. Adding the compost you make to soil increases water retention, decreases erosion, and keeps organic materials out of landfills. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, save your ashes instead of throwing them away. Once cooled, wood ashes can be mixed into your compost heap and provide nutrients to your garden.
- Set up a composting program for your neighborhood or school. It only takes a small amount of land space to collect organic waste into a compost pile. The compost can be bagged and sold for community and school funds.
- Instead of printing hard copies of your documents, save them to your hard drive or email them to yourself to save paper.
- Be sure to properly dispose of any non-recyclable items. Look for household hazardous waste collection days in your community to properly dispose of cleaners, paints, automotive supplies and other hazardous items. – https://www.orangecountygov.com/449/Household-Hazardous-Waste, https://www.oclandfills.com/household-hazardous-waste
- Donate your old computers and tablets to a school. Many schools will be able to make good use of your old machine.
- Before replacing a computer that no longer fits your needs, save money and consider enhancing the computer’s capacity by upgrading the hard drive or memory. If there is a problem, consider repairing the computer at a local business or at a Repair Café event.
- Donating used (but still operating) electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and keeps them out of the waste stream for a longer period of time. https://e-access.org/ and https://www.computerswithcauses.org/
- Info on properly disposing of electronics according to the OC your government rules. https://www.orangecountygov.com/1561/Electronics-Recycling
- Be smart with your smart phone! It contains precious raw materials. Learn how to keep your information and our environment safe when donating your old device. Create a community drop-off site for old computers at a neighborhood school. Take used or damaged car batteries to auto stores that stock or repair lead-acid batteries for safe disposal. The batteries contain toxic amounts of lead and acid, and should not be thrown out with your regular trash.
- Return used car tires to retailers or wholesalers that recycle or retread them. Tires are banned from most landfills, and illegally dumped tires become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests.