October 17, 2021

City clarifies recycling changes

Travis Dunn/staff reporter

The orange notice in this recycle bin explains why these materials were not picked up Tuesday: The resident failed to separate glass from the other recyclables. Under the new city policy, glass recyclables will be picked up the first week of every month, and other recyclables other than glass will be picked up on every other week.

City officials brought some clarity to continuing confusion about city and county recycling changes Tuesday night at the city Common Council meeting.

Aldermen questioned the city’s trash hauler, Bert Adams, as well as Charles Sudbrink, the Cortland County Superintendent of Highways, who is in charge of the county’s recycling program, on what materials are accepted for curbside recycling pickup in the city.

Highlights of that discussion:

  • Glass pickup occurs during the first full week of every month. In April, when the first of the month comes mid-week, glass pickup would not occur until the following week, which would be the first full week of April.
  • Shredded paper. This is the only type of paper that will be accepted in a bag.
  • Wet paper and cardboard are acceptable as long as they are clean, Adams said, because they will invariably get wet in a recycling bin from rain or snow.

“If we get 3 inches of rain and everything gets wet, you can’t do anything about that,” Sudbrink said.

Alderman Thomas Michales (R-8th Ward) also demonstrated whether particular items were acceptable by pulling them out of a bag and showing them to Adams and Sudbrink.

For instance:

  • Styrofoam: Trash.
  • Plastic bag: Trash.
  • Plastic air-puffed packing bag: Trash.
  • Plastic milk jug: Recycle, but throw out the top.
  • Tin can: Recycle, but throw out the top.
  • Plastic straw: Trash.
  • Lids: Trash.

For details, go to cortland.org/185/Mandatory-Recycling.