FAQs

Use the form below to filter our Frequently Asked Questions.

How much do OCRRA's services cost?

The average household pays about $80 per year for OCRRA’s services, including waste disposal and recycling, free blue bins, special events/collection programs, public education, composting operations, trash and recycling drop-off site operations, and Waste-to-Energy Facility oversight. OCRRA does not perform garbage collection. This is done by your municipality or a private hauler. Given this, the amount you actually pay for “garbage” collection is likely much more than $80/year. This additional cost is not directed to OCRRA. Nor do tax dollars support OCRRA's services and programs. OCRRA’s ability to consolidate services and establish large-volume contracts benefits your household; the cost of OCRRA’s annual services is roughly equivalent to the cost of an average monthly cell phone or television bill.

Why doesn't OCRRA adopt a zero waste system?

Through public education and outreach efforts, OCRRA educates our community on following the resource or waste management hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover (energy). Changing people’s behavior is not easy; however, our community does a great job reaching recycling rates that are double the national average! While OCRRA strives to continue increasing the recycling rate, we recognize that there are still non-recyclable materials that need proper management. When we all do our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we make strides towards “zero waste.”

What is OCRRA's role with the Waste-to-Energy Facility?

The Waste-to-Energy Facility is owned by OCRRA and operated by Covanta Energy. OCRRA:
  • performs and hires contractors to conduct Facility inspections,
  • regularly communicates with Covanta managers,
  • reviews Facility reports,
  • posts emissions data,
  • generates an annual operations report, and
  • determines the acceptability of any special waste materials that may be processed at the Facility.
The OCRRA-Covanta partnership has served the community well since the WTE Facility began operating in 1994.

Where does my trash go?

Trash generated in OCRRA's service area (Onondaga County, except the Town and Village of Skaneateles) goes to the Onondaga County Waste-to-Energy Facility. Rather than hauling it to landfills out of Onondaga County, the only other alternative, the Onondaga County Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility converts the non-recyclable materials into electricity – enough to power about 25,000 – 30,000 homes. The Facility also annually recovers about 9,000 tons of metal from the waste stream and reduces the volume of material that needs to be sent to a landfill by 90%. OCRRA figures that, as long as it can be done in a manner protective of human health and the environment, we may as well be using our waste materials to their full potential. Waste-to-energy does just that. Click here to learn more about the Waste-to-Energy Facility.

How do I get rid of fluorescent bulbs?

Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and must not be thrown in the trash. Click here to learn how easy it is to recycle them in Onondaga County.

How do I get rid of an old TV, computer or other electronic item?

There are a number of convenient drop off locations in our community. Click here for more info.

How do I get rid of a broken blue bin?

Click here for instructions on how to get rid of a blue bin.

How do I get a new blue bin?

Getting a new blue bin is easy. Find out here.

What items belong in the blue bin?

For a list of the items that are recyclable in your blue bin, click here.

What can't you drop off at the compost sites?

There are certain items that are not accepted at either compost site. To see a list, click here.

What things are accepted at the compost sites?

The OCRRA compost sites accept various organic items. To see a list, click here.

Why don't you take materials in bags from residents?

Bags often contain yard waste and contaminants, which pose safety and equipment concerns. We kindly ask that you empty your bags at the site and recycle them, if appropriate.
Mail List

Join Our Mailing List