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Recycling

Recycling is the recovery of discarded natural resources and the conversion of these resources into useable materials. Dutchess County has a mandatory recycling law (Local Law No. 3 of 2014) that has been in effect since 1990.

You can help get a workplace, apartment building, garbage hauler, restaurant or retailer in compliance with the recycling law by submitting a Recycling Complaint Form.

 

Contact

If you are wondering if recycling is worth it, consider:

 

What can be recycled in Dutchess County?

  • All paper and cardboard - Newspaper, magazines (including glossy coated and inserts) cereal boxes, junk mail, telephone books, paper towel rolls, cartons, and more can be recycled.
  • Glass bottles, tin and aluminum - Glass food and beverage containers, soda cans, metal jar lids, foil, and more can be recycled.
  • All plastics, including CDs and CD cases, except foam (Stryofoam) and plastic bags. Plastic bags should NOT be put in the recycle bin, but recycled at a local retailer’s collection bin.
  • Our Recycling Guidelines are available in  English and Spanish. When printed double-sided, landscape orientation and folded in thirds, it can be used as a tri-fold brochure.
  • This Dutchess County Recycles Sign can be displayed above or near recycle bins to show what can be placed in them.

What should not be put in your recycle bin?

Automotive Batteries - NY State requires retailers and distributors to take back old car batteries. Lead acid batteries are recyclable, and the improper disposal of lead batteries is prohibited by NYS Law.

Appliances – Some area transfer stations accept major appliances, and for a fee private haulers and some retailers, like Best Buy, provide services for appliance recycling.

Batteries – The NYS Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act requires manufacturers of covered rechargeable batteries to collect and recycle the batteries at no cost to consumers. Many local retailers provide bins for battery recycling. 

  • Alkaline batteries- AAA, AA, C, D, 9 Volt, and lantern batteries are regular household trash or can be recycled with rechargeable batteries.

Cell phones – The NYS Wireless Recycling Act requires all wireless telephone service providers that offer phones for sale must accept your cell phones for reuse or recycling. 

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) – Retailers that sell CFLs provide drop-off facilities for CFL recycling.

Concrete, demolition debris, asphalt pavement, brick, block, soil, tile, reinforcing rod and wire meshPlease check the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency (DCRRA) website for an up-to-date listing of recycling facilities .

Confidential papers - DCRRA provides a certified destruction program. You can make an appointment to have your confidential papers destroyed at the Waste-to-Energy Plant. The fee is based on weight, and a minimum charge applies. Call 463-6021 to make an appointment. 

Electronic Equipment – The NYS Electronic Equipment and Reuse Act requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic waste, such as keyboards, computers, monitors, printers, and video game consoles. If you cannot bring your electronics to a Household Hazardous Waste event, you can recycle your electronic waste by following these three steps:

  1. Go to DEC’s list of electronic equipment manufacturers registered in NYS to find manufacturers  , their brands of covered electronic equipment, websites, and toll-free telephone numbers. 
  2. Find the manufacturer's brand of equipment you wish to recycle, and click on that manufacturer’s website link or call its listed toll-free number.
  3. Follow the specific instructions provided on how to recycle your equipment, free of charge. 
  • Many local retailers accept electronic waste for recycling.

Food waste – While food waste normally goes in the garbage can, ideally it would stay out of the waste-to-energy plant and landfills. Composting food waste, fallen leaves, grass clippings, weeds and the remains of garden plants is beneficial for the earth and your soils. You can make your own compost bin or purchase one at a local retailer. For further information on how to compost at home: NYS DEC, Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension  , and the Resource Recovery Agency  

Hazardous Waste, products that are marked with the words, “Warning: Hazardous, Flammable, Poison, Corrosive” – The County provides two Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics collections a year. Please see the Dutchess County Consolidated Calendar for more information on fees, dates and sites

Ink and Toner Cartridges - Some cartridges can be refilled and reused. If you'd rather recycle, manufacturers have mail back programs or you can bring them back to a retailer that sells cartridges for free recycling.

Medicine - Do not flush any medicines! Dutchess County residents have the opportunity to discard their unused and/or expired medications at a permanent Prescription Drug Drop Box location. Unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications can end up in the hands of children or leach into our drinking water if discarded improperly.

Motor Oil- NY State requires service stations and automotive retailers to accept used motor oil. 

Paint – Mercury-containing latex paint (usually pre-1990 paints) or oil-based paints, artist paints and aerosol paints should not go in the trash. These paints should be saved for a collection event. Latex paints (newer, non-mercury-containing) can be disposed of in the trash, once hardened. Dry out the remaining paint by air drying or adding kitty litter or sawdust, and then place the can in your regular trash. 

Plastic bags – Each year, Americans throw away more than 100 billion plastic bags. Less than 1% are recycled. Effective January 1, 2009, a new statewide law required 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. Recycling these bags reduces waste and litter, resulting in cleaner streets and waterways and less material in landfills. Instead of using a plastic bag, you can use canvas, cloth, or a durable plastic bag and say “No thank you” to a bag. 

Sharps, including syringes, needles and lancets – Do not place in garbage or recycling bins. They can be taken to area hospitals and nursing homes for proper disposal. Some area hospitals also offer approved containers for sale for transporting sharps. For more information go to the New York State Department of Health  .

Yard waste – Yard waste can be composted (see “Food waste” above). Some transfer stations take yard waste and some municipalities provide seasonal pick-up. Please see DCRRA for a listing of services  .

Dutchess County Solid Waste Management Recycling Complaint Form

You can help get a workplace, apartment building, garbage hauler, restaurant or retail business in compliance with the recycling law. For instance, a complaint can be filed if a person sees sanitation workers combining garbage and recyclables into the same truck or notices that bottles and cans are being thrown away with garbage at a restaurant.

Fill out this form to report a recycling problem or complaint. The county will follow up with either a phone call or site inspection at the location of the complaint.

 

Recycling Contamination

What is Recycling Contamination? Contamination happens when non-recyclable items are mixed in with recyclables items or when recyclable items are placed in the wrong recycling bins. For example, plastic bags are recyclable but can only be recycled if they are placed in specific recycling bins at your local retail store. Plastic bags and film plastics can not be recycled in your household recycling bin. In addition, elec-tronics and clothing, can also be recycled but not with your household recyclables.

Why is it bad to place these contaminants with my household recyclables? It slows down the recycling process and can damage the sorting machines. When your solid waste hauler takes your recycling, it is brought to a materials recovery facility. Once there the materials are sorted by hand and machinery. Items such as plastic bags or electronic wires can damage the machines causing the whole process to shut down.

Household recyclables should always be placed loosely in the recycling bin, not in a plastic bag.

So what do I do with those contaminants? Now it’s easier than ever to find the appropriate location to recycle materials that are not household recyclables. Recyclables are useful and profitable but not when they are contaminated.

  • Plastic bags and film plastic — This is one of the largest contaminants found at any materials recovery facility. These materials can and should be recycled, but only in an appropriate receptacle. Most retail grocery stores now have a recycling bin for these materials. To find the closest location near you, you can visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org
  • Electronic waste — Dutchess County Division of Solid Waste host several electronic waste events per year, call 845-486-3600 for details. Can’t wait and need to get rid of your electronics today? You can call retailers such as Staples and Best Buy to learn about their recycling programs.
  • Clothing and Textiles — There are hundreds of textile collection locations available in New York. Visit www.nysar3.org to find a location nearest to you.

Dutchess County Recycles Sign

The quick reference shows you what can go in your recylcing bin, organized by material: Paper/Cardboard, Plastic, Metal and Glass.

Download the Dutchess County Recycles Sign (.pdf)

 

Recognizing that more than 70% of the abused prescription medications are obtained from friends or relatives, the medication drop box program is open to the public to safely dispose of unused/unwanted medications keeping these harmful substances out of the environment, as well as the hands of those who would abuse them.

Dutchess County Prescription Medication Drop Box Program

Prescription medication drop boxes have been established in ten (10) locations throughout Dutchess County to offer residents places to anonymously dispose of unused, unwanted, prescription medications and controlled substances.  

  • City of Beacon Police Department - 1 Municipal Plaza, Beacon, NY.12508 
  • Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office - 150 N. Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY. 12601 
  • East Fishkill Police Department - 2468 Route 52, Hopewell Jct., NY.  12533 
  • Hyde Park Police Department - 3 Cardinal Road, Hyde Park, NY.  12538 
  • New York State Police, Troop K Headquarters - 2541 Route 44, Salt Point, NY. 12578 
  • *Pawling Substation, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office - 9 Memorial Ave., Pawling, NY. 12564, 
  • Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department - 19 Tucker Drive, Poughkeepsie, NY. 12603 
  • *Millerton Police Department - 21 Dutchess Ave., Millerton, NY. 12546 
  • *Red Hook Police Department - 7467 South Broadway, Red Hook, NY.  12571 
  • Wappingers Falls Police Department - 2628 South Ave., Wappingers Falls NY. 12590 

All locations are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

*Exceptions

  • Village of Millerton PD - Mon – Fri 9AM – 4PM; Sat, noon – midnight, Sun. 4PM – midnight - or call 518-789-3115
  • Pawling Sub Station - Call  845-486-3800 for assistance 
  • Village of Red Hook PD - Daily, 8:00AM – Midnight 

Medicines deposited into the drop boxes should be in sealed containers/plastic bags.

  • Any unused prescription medications, medicated ointments, over the counter medicines, and inhalers may be disposed of.  
  • Hazardous materials and needles are not accepted and Pharmacies and medical providers are not allowed to take part in the program.  

Download the Dutchess County Prescription Medication Drop Box Program flyer (.pdf)