Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day 2012: Recycling in Herkimer and Oneida Counties

Managing the waste our region generates is everyone’s responsibility. Preserving the environment through recovery and disposal is the stated mission of the Herkimer Oneida County Solid Waste Authority. The Authority was created more than 20 years ago by both Oneida and Herkimer Counties who voted to create a comprehensive solid waste management system.

Components of this self-contained system include:
  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction - including a regional compost facility
  • Waste disposal - including solid waste, hazardous household waste, and construction and demolition debris
Dedicated to advancing solid waste solutions in an environmentally friendly way, the Authority has pioneered the greening of Oneida and Herkimer Counties. This includes a regional recycling program that is regarded as one of the most expansive in the country that includes both school and community recycling programs. As a result, the Authority has helped our community become a national model for solid waste management systems.
Since 1991, the Herkimer Oneida County Solid Waste Authority has run its Recycling Center which  accepted recyclables from households, businesses, industries, schools, and institutions in the two-county area. Since opening, the Authority has processed over 700,000 tons of recyclable material.

In July of 2011, the Authority began the process of upgrading the Recycling Center. A new, state-of-the-art single stream processing system will take the place of the previous dual stream processing system. The project is expected to be complete in December of 2011.

The Authority is currently accepting all recyclable items- paper, plastic, metal and glass- mixed together. Plastic #7 has been added to the list of acceptable material. Items will continue to be added to the list of acceptable material as recycling markets are secured for additional items.

Here are some three charts showing the state of recycling in Herkimer and Oneida Counties in 2011. they come from the Solid Waste Authority 2011 Annual Report.

2011 Recycling Revenue 2011 Recycling Tonnage 2011 Recycled Hazardous Materials