#1 - Recycle

OCRRA now asks residents to IGNORE NUMBERS on plastic items and only pay attention to the SHAPE of an item. Numbers are not a good indicator of recyclability as they simply indicate the TYPE of plastic an item is made from, not if it is recyclable. You can have two items made of the same number plastic, but they don’t both belong in a recycle bin. The way manufacturers form their products impacts recyclability. For example, many salad dressing bottles are made from the same number plastic as berry clamshell containers. However, only the bottle shaped item belongs in the recycling bin. Plastic clamshells are not recyclable in Onondaga County.

The ONLY plastic items that go in the recycle bin are plastic BOTTLES, JUGS, JARS and plastic stackable DAIRY TUBS (this also applies to tubs that contain dairy alternatives, such as vegan “butter,” etc.).

All other plastic items (unless they are film plastics), please place in the trash or bring to OCRRA’s Rock Cut Road Drop-Off Site for trash disposal.

Container descriptions:  Please rinse and place the following items in your recycle bin. They can also be taken to OCRRA’s Rock Cut Road Drop-Off Site for recycling.

  • BOTTLE – something that has a neck and a smaller opening than base (typically has threads at the neck for a screw on cap – can be food bottles, such as ketchup, salad dressing and mustard bottles. Acceptable bottles also hold shampoo, body wash, etc.
  • JAR – like bottles, these typically have threads at the neck for a screw on cap. Some examples are: jelly jar, pickle jar, tomato sauce jar, etc.
  • JUG – something with a handle – like a milk jug or laundry detergent bottle,
  • WIDE-MOUTH, STACKABLE DAIRY TUB – any tub that previously contained a DAIRY product like butter, yogurt, Cool Whip, cream cheese, etc. It must be able to nest inside itself. If you can’t stack one of the same item within itself, then they are not recyclable. No takeout containers or other plastic tubs that did not hold dairy or dairy alternative products.

Reattach all caps and lids, plastic or metal. Do not place them in recycling bins loose. To prevent them from “falling through the cracks” during the recycling process, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove cap.
  2. Rinse bottle (do NOT crush – the 3-D nature of a bottle helps keep it separate from paper at the recycling sorting facility).
  3. Replace cap.
  4. Place in blue bin.

Also recyclable: office paper, mail, cardboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogs, softcover books, paperboard boxes – including cereal, pasta, and tissue boxes.

NOTE: boxes from refrigerated or freezer sections of grocery stores do not belong in a recycling bin because they have a moisture-resistant coating that renders them non-recyclable.

If you find yourself having to ask yourself too many questions when deciding if something goes in the bin vs. not, it should go in the trash to avoid contaminating the other recyclables.

When in doubt, if you can’t check it out (on our website, on Facebook, or by calling us at 315-453-2866), throw it out.

#2 - Reduce

Instead of purchasing drink bottles, try:

  1. A reusable water bottle, glassware or water filtration system would eliminate plastic water bottles altogether
  2. Larger soda or juice jugs and glassware
  3. Water flavor powders with minimal packaging or a soda stream
  4. Buying items in bulk

#3 - Reuse

Try to reuse these items before placing them in the recycling bin.

#4 - Dispose

Any bottles, jars, jugs and tubs that are empty, but previously held hazardous materials should be disposed of in the trash. For example, empty oil, gas, fertilizer or pesticide containers should go in the trash, not in your recycle bin.

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